When my family and I gathered at the hospice facility for Dad’s final days on this earth, I recall a gentle and caring social worker telling us all to be patient with one another because we would each experience this grief differently. I was grateful to her for that reminder. How right she was. Some of us spoke openly in Dad’s presence about what was coming, and others were uncomfortable saying the words “death” or “dying” in Dad’s hearing. Some of us cried openly; others carried their grief deep inside. Some of us needed solitude and space to grieve; others needed to stay close to the family group.
When we grieve, we each walk a different journey. No one can tell you how to grieve. Your process is your process. As in the book Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert, Chuck DeKlyen and Taylor Bills, we each need to make our own soup recipe, filling the pot with tears, feelings, memories, misgivings and more. Your soup will not taste like mine. Your soup will take a different amount of time to cook than mine. This is an individual process, and we should never judge one another’s grief.
This message is adapted from the free online resource Faces of Grief, written by Sonia Solomonson.