Death and Grieving are very personal matters. Everyone experiences it in their own way. No two people relate to death the same way. No two people grieve the same way. Take my word for it. I have personal experience with Death and Grieving.
The following paragraphs were written from my personal experiences and feelings over the loss of my daughter. It is not my intention to state or imply that everyone should feel the same as me on the subjects of Death and Grieving. Please keep that in mind should you choose to read the rest of my page.
Granted, you know that the loss of a loved one is very painful. You may have experienced it yourself. You know it is extremely painful when someone experiences the loss of a loved one. You want to reach out and comfort the grieving person. But quite often you do not know how to do that. You are at a total loss as to what to say. Believe me, you are not alone in this. Most people do not know what to say or do either.
The foremost reason you that you do not know what to say or do is that you can not possibly understand the depth of the pain. That is because you were not privy to the personal relationship shared by the grieving person and deceased loved one. I am not saying that you did not know them, that you did not have a relationship with both of them. You most certainly must have or you would not be sharing the loss and wanting to give comfort.
Perhaps you are a family member or close friend. Perhaps you are grieving too. But your depth of grief is not the same. It is unique to you and the deceased person. Siblings, parents, other relatives and friends had a relationship with the deceased person that was different from yours.
If you have experienced Death and Grieving you will understand what I am saying. While my daughter and I share the loss of my oldest daughter, Bernadette, we relate to it on a different level. She as a sister, me as a mother. I know she suffers from the loss. She knows I suffer from the loss. We can comfort each other but we can not understand why the loss affects each of us in the way that it does.
I can remember at Bernadette's funeral wanting to tell people to stop saying they understood the depth of my pain. They may have understood that I was experiencing pain but they did not and could not undertand the depth of my pain nor will they ever understand.
I needed the comforting hugs I was receiving. I needed people around me to help ease the painful void her death had left within me. But what I needed most was for them to simply express their sorrow over my loss. I needed them to just hold my hand and to sit quietly next to me. I needed them to let me experience Death and Grieving in my own way. I did not need them to say they understood how painful her loss was to me.
It has been several years since the death of Bernadette and the pain has not gotten any easier to bear. It still feels like my heart is in a vise and something is constantly turning the lever. I have heard the old cliche "it gets better with time" many times as I am sure you have. No, it does not get better with time. At least it does not for me. As I stated a few paragraphs above, everyone experiencinces Death and Grieving in their own way. It does not take much to bring back the pain of her death like it just happened. It could be something as simple as her favorite song on the radio, running into one of her friends, seeing or hearing something that I know she would have enjoyed. It could be anything.
Her birthday and holidays have become very depressing for me. She loved to celebrate birthdays and holidays with her family and friends. I used to. I get through them somehow for the sake of my daughter and granddaughter. I try very hard not to let them see how much I am hurting. The only time anyone sees me crying is when my daughter and I visit the cemetery to place flowers on Bernadette's grave and say a prayer for her and for us.
I know everyone meant well by their expressions of sympathy at the funeral. I know that everyone means well when they tell me "things will get better with time". I can appreciate that people care and are trying to offer comfort. And I am grateful for caring friends and relatives.
I believe I have learned that people need to experience Death and Grieving in their own way. Hopefully I have learned to give comfort without causing more distress to a griving person. Hopefully my simple "I am sorry you lost your loved one" and a tight hug helps make the grieving easier for someone who has lost a loved one. Hopefully this page of mine has helped you to understand that people need to experience Death and Grieving in their own way. Hopefully I have not caused any distress to the readers of this page because of my viewpoints on Death and Grieving.