“The biggest problem with clichés is that they weren’t invented by the author using them.”
Future Award Winner!
“In 1996, Stephanie lost her best friend to cancer three days after her own husband was diagnosed with an incurable form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (he subsequently died in 2001). Later that same year, her mother and father died within six weeks of each other. Thus, 1996 marked the beginnings of the grief journey that has resulted in “How to Help a Grieving Friend.”Everyone Grieves differently.
I am making my way in a world where my primary connection to reality is gone. Don’t tell me I should ‘get over it” and ‘move on.’ As soon as I’m ready, I will. But your timetable is irrelevant to my reality.
Don’t speculate about the unknowable.
If your faith teaches that the dead don’t see us and don’t care about life on earth “in light of eternity,” keep it to yourself. Saying that is the same thing as saying he or she doesn’t love me anymore.
Leave the self-help books at home. Unless you can say, “This helped me when my ____ died,” just don’t say it.
Delete comfort clichés. I know every cloud has a sliver lining. Remind me another time. Hurt with me now.
Tell Me I’m Okay
Grief makes people a little crazy. Remind me that I shouldn’t be expected to behave ‘like my old’ self.’ It’s good to know I’m not going crazy – at least not permanently.
Accept My New Quirks.
If I’m reluctant, don’t push it. Grief changes people – permanently. I may never be ‘my old self’ again. But I just might be a better self if you’ll give me some time.
Don’t say, “You need to make new memories”
Right now, I need to remember the old ones.
Accept No for an answer.
It’s exhausting pretending to be happy in a group so I don’t depress everyone around me. If I say no, it doesn’t mean I don’t want your friendship. It just means I’m too tired to hang out right now.
Accept My TearsWhat I’ve quoted above is only a tiny part of the wisdom in this book. Each chapter is divided into two parts: How it Feels and How to Help. There are twenty-five short chapters.
Don’t’ be embarrassed when I cry. Tears are healing. They must be shed. Crying alone hurts worse.
I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book or who wouldn’t enjoy reading it.