Loss, grief, mourning

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Wednesday

Loss, grief, mourning

A few things I’ve seen, known, experienced about significant loss, grief, and mourning:

• Grief can go into hiding and emerge months, even years later, as something quite unexpected – like anger, disappointment and/or cynicism, or kindness, joy, softness, and appreciation.

• Time itself doesn’t heal, not usually. Some grief is never “healed” and some losses never find “closure” but the lack of both does not necessarily mean survivors will not or cannot live full, productive, beautiful lives.

• Replacing a loss with another person “too quickly” may we’ll be unwise, unfair, irresponsible (all things I’ve heard) but it doesn’t feel that way for the one who has suffered and insisting on it is usually alienating and counterproductive and rip already suffering families apart.

• Mourning has a life of its own, at least initially, and it’s best not tamed by the untrained.

• When a person who had suffered loss declares he or she’d rather not talk about “it” the desire is best respected.

• Our uniqueness as individuals is also reflected in how people respond to difficulties associated with significant loss and it’s ridiculous to approach a grieving person with a step-by-step generic packaged formula.

• Non-possessive warmth, listening ears, and a hot cups of tea may be the most powerful gifts a person can offer one who has suffered loss.


My evening walk

One Comment to “Loss, grief, mourning”

  1. Such a heartbreakingly beautiful post, Rod.

    It reminds me of a quote from a favorite movie of mine, “when it comes to grief, the normal rules of exchange do not apply, because grief transcends value. A man would give entire nations to lift grief off his heart. And yet, you cannot buy anything with grief, because grief is worthless.”

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