Friday, March 6, 2015

thoughts on loss

I have never lost a loved one. The only grandparent I've ever been close with is still alive; I can talk to any of my siblings whenever I wish, and see my parents daily. I realize I am in the minority and not many 23 year olds can say they've never experienced true loss. Sure I've experienced loss, but never of a person or even the death of a pet. Not winning a student council election, not getting a call back after what you thought was a great interview, or even having my home destroyed in a hurricane can compare to the loss of a loved one.

Last month a girl I graduated high school with was murdered. In high school a boyfriend's best friend drowned in an icy lake. Just last week a young man I'd never met, but am friends with many who were very close died in a tragic sledding accident. In all these cases these deaths did not affect me directly, but I still felt sadness. I was hurting for those I loved that loved these people. Seeing their pain and imagining their grief brought me sadness. I almost feel guilty for these emotions. What right do I have to grieve people I don't truly know. In these times I am left feeling like an imposture or someone imposing on something very private.

Because I've never experienced true loss I am always left unsure what to say. I have no prior experience of what I would have wanted someone to say to me to help ease the pain. I know everyone grieves differently so there is no perfect way to reach out to someone in these situations, but I still feel the need to extend myself. The best I can ever offer is a simple "I am so sorry for your loss please know I am here if there is anything I can do during this difficult time." I realize that is so small and insignificant compared to the pain and grief they feel, but it's all I can offer.  

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1 comment:

  1. Coming from someone who has experienced the loss of loved ones, what you said is PERFECT. Having someone acknowledge your loss and offer their support and solidarity is HUGE and is in no way insignificant! It sounds like you really empathize with people's pain even when you don't know them well and that is a very good thing!

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