On Monday, February 1, 2010 my Grandma passed away. When she became ill, she lasted about two weeks. Previously, she was spunky, silly, loving and full of life. Our entire family was with her when she passed away. It is quite difficult for anyone to understand my grief, for she helped to raise me and for several years, I lived with my grandparents. Sometimes, I get the feeling from others including my family that she was “only my grandmother.”
My grandparents left a great legacy. Despite all of the in fighting and disagreements and people not speaking to each other, we all came together as a family. We set aside our differences and grudges and focused on Grandma and supporting each other. My grandparents formed us to “always” be a family in the tough times.
My heart feels like a part has been ripped out. I am sad, angry at her physician, and depressed. My therapist told me to just let myself be whatever that may be in that moment instead of “shutting down” my feelings which just makes it worse. I have a difficult time doing this. This time it is particularly difficult as I handled my Grandpa’s death in 2001 in the same manner and ended up with a major depressive episode. This time it feels like I am grieving both. There is emptiness inside which is normal and expected. I’m fighting not to feel “tooth and nail.” It is really a good thing that I am in therapy right now…I want grieve and not get into trouble. Within less than a week, I’m already in “trouble” with my eating disorder.
Dr. David Kessler, Grief and Loss Specialist for Tributes.com offers the best and the worst things to say to someone in this grief state :
The Worst Things to Say:
* At least she lived a long life, many people die young.
* He is in a better place.
* She brought this on herself.
* There is a reason for everything.
*Aren’t you over him yet? He has been dead for a while now.
My Additions: Things that I’ve heard or have been told.
*It is part of life.
*What did she die of?
*You have your memories of her.
*When was the last time you saw her?
*Were you close?
*At least she is not in pain anymore.
*It was good she went quickly, so she didn’t suffer.
*Was she a Christian?
*She is with the Lord now.
*She is with your Grandpa now.
*I understand, when my __________, I___________.
The Best Things to Say:
* I am so sorry for your loss.
* I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
* I don’t know how you feel, but I am here If can help in anyway.
* You and your loved one will be in my thoughts.
* My favorite memory of _________ is _________
*Listen to them talk.
*Allow them to laugh and cry.
*It is okay for you to cry also.
*Hug the person
*Send a sympathy card.
*Be there for them.
*Let them grieve in their own time…everyone grieves at different rates and may come up after a long while.
*Provide support or an outing on anniversary dates (i.e. holidays, her birthday, the date of her death, etc…
*Be specific with what type of help you want to give. i.e. grocery shop, make or take telephone calls, provide a meal at the date they specify, etc…
I love you Grandma and miss you!!
So, do you have any suggestions regarding what to say and what not to say. What has been helpful or not helpful to you?