Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sympathy cards

I have been meaning to write a post on some revelations I have been having over the last three weeks about grief in general,, my grief specifically and where I am now.  It was meant to be a positive post as for the most part with my epiphanies I have had a lightening of spirit.  When I think of Ailish I don't have a wash of nausea come over me or fall into the depths of despair at her no longer being here.  I have been that much closer to taking down her crib....

That being said I seem to be having a bit of a relapse in the last two days.  I think it is caused from my not feeling in tip top shape (total misnomer!  I am not now nor have I ever been "in shape" !)  That is to say I have been a bit tired.  (A fyi tidbit for those unfamiliar with grief...if the 'griever' is tired, sick etc it will escalate whatever negative state of mind they might be in.) This relapse then has had me feeling a titch of bitterness.

Case in point...yesterday I was shopping for a sympathy card.  Each card I picked up had pictured on it every variety of idyllic scenery while on the inside was an attempt at offering words of comfort, insight and or hope.  As I read each one all I could think of is that each one of them no matter how beautiful to look at, no matter how sincerely written they were BULL. SHIT!

Fact of the matter is there. are. no. words.  Nothing can be said that is going to change the way the bereaved person is feeling.  I will speak for myself here when I say telling me or giving me a card that states my kid is "in a better place" or "running free with the angels" etc etc is not helpful especially when I think the best place for my child is in my arms.  Selfish?  Maybe. But true feelings.  When I'm told Ailish is now in Heaven free from the entrapments of her earthly body and can run and play I am confused because for one I never thought she was "trapped in her body". and two, if she was made perfectly as she was meant to be how can that be that she was trapped?  The best thing to be said to the grieving person perhaps are words of love for them, for the deceased etc.  You can describe the impact their loved one had on your life and how you are changed from having known them.

As there are no words to be said to the person in despair short of "I'm here for you"  there are plenty of wrong words.  The worst phrase ever coined in my opinion is "I'm sorry for your loss".  The sentence itself is not so bad but it has been cut off.  It is too short.  It should be "I'm sorry for the loss of your daughter, child, sister etc.  I did not lose my car keys, my socks, my brush. Always, always use the deceased's name.  Those of us grieving their loss want to hear it and want others to say it and remember her and know that her time on earth was not forgotten.

Hopefully this ends my relapse.  No guarantees....

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