When my husband passed away at 24, I longed for words of wisdom. However, much of the wisdom that I received like, “You will get over this one day” or “You will be happy again soon” felt like a twist of the knife already in my heart.
Then two people told me that however I was feeling or whatever I was doing at the time was exactly right for me. They told me that it was okay to process my grief in my own way and make decisions in my own time, not anyone else’s.
Through this experience I learned how to support others who are experiencing grief.
I learned that a person in grief will eventually see the hope that you hold, will eventually make the decisions they need to, and will eventually want to hear your advice. But until they tell you they are ready, what they need most is permission to be exactly who they are at that moment.
This message is adapted from “Words in times of grief” written by Lydia McDermott that first appeared in the January 2012 issue of Café magazine.