Not so long ago, a dear friend of mine lost her mother in a car accident. She texted me, “Hi. Something bad happened. Mom is in a coma. Got hit by a bus.” On the following day, her Mom passed on.
My friend was in shock. Everything happened so fast she didn’t have enough time to process it. It is hard to imagine what it might feel like to lose someone so precious to you like that, in an instant.
This accident shook me. When we talked over the phone my friend told me: “You can’t prepare for it and you will never be the same again coming out on the other end.” I didn’t know what to say. Our conversation left me thinking about death for days. I realized that so few of us know how to deal with it when it occurs near us.
Losing someone is a traumatic experience. We need to heal from it and in order to do so there is something we all should do: we should allow ourselves to grieve.
“Real men don’t cry”, “Don’t show them your tears, girl.” We are conditioned by society to hide our pain and suppress the expression of negative emotions. So, we conserve the pain inside hiding it so deep that we even forget that it is there and it rots corroding our soul.
Processing sorrow and anguish is an inherent element of healing. We should welcome uncontrollable tears as they are signs that the pain is leaving the soul. Giving your heartache a release is not a weakness. It is the hygiene of the mind.
This unhealthy social conditioning reveals itself again when someone close to our friends dies. We are lost. We are confused. We clearly sense how some part of us wants to run away from the uncomfortable conversation because we don’t know what to say. What’s more confusing, is that somehow, we also feel guilty that we are not the ones who are going through the painful experience.
If you have a friend who is suffering a bereavement, do not try to cheer him up. Take no pity on your friend even if you feel one. Pity is the least of things that your friend needs right now. Say this instead:
“It’s going to hurt really bad. For a while.
And I am not going anywhere. I am here.
This year it is your turn. Next year it might be my turn.
We all get through this together.”
~ Max Strom
Everyone must become reconciled to the loss of a loved one by himself. There is nothing you can do to ease other people’s pain except to let them know that you will always be there for them. Your friends must know that even when they go through hell, they don’t have to do it alone. So, don’t hesitate. Be there to catch them when they fall. Your friend will be able to see that your silent presence makes you already as loving a friend as any person could ask for. In the words of Henri Nouwen:
“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not healing, not curing…that is a friend who cares.”
Take a break from reading. This book ain’t going nowhere. Take your phone. Call those you hold dear. Tell them you love them. You never know if it will be the last time for you to say these words. Take care of your loved ones. They are one of the very few things that do matter.
Thank you for reading my book “Meditations of the Millennial”.
If you want to support me on my mission, please, share this book with someone you love. Maybe they will find what they seek on its pages.