Home Page Tabs Title: Saturday Morning Message: To Share or Not To Share About Your Loved One
Posted By: TAPS
When you are grieving, sometimes you want to talk about your loved one and at other times, you may be tired or you might not want to answer the questions that are asked. There are some survivors reading this who might feel like Frank who answered, “I would like people to ask me about Joe. It makes me feel he is still relevant. I know they say time will heal. Right now, I want to talk about Joe.
Last week’s question was difficult and there were very few replies to it. When you are grieving, sometimes you want to talk about your loved one and at other times, you may be tired or you might not want to answer the questions that are asked.
There are some survivors reading this who might feel like Frank who answered, “I would like people to ask me about Joe. It makes me feel he is still relevant. I know they say time will heal. Right now, I want to talk about Joe. I want to talk about his accomplishments, his turn around in life. It does not have to turn into a "sob fest". Just a way to talk to someone other than family, maybe heals by remembering my boy. In time, maybe I'll not want to be asked or reminded. Right now, it would still be nice to know people still have a little time to remember.” Others may feel that the questions are too personal or they are feeling overwhelmed and really want to steer the conversation to another topic.
What to do? Let’s look at the times that you don’t want to talk. When you are grieving, often uncomfortable things come up quickly and you are not prepared for them. Remember also that emotions during grief go up and down sometimes in a heartbeat, so preparing in advance may help a bit. If you are keeping a journal, write down a list of possible ways to turn attention from yourself. For many, writing helps to organize reflections. Some ideas to turn the conversation might be:
- Some days I feel like talking and other days, I don’t. Would you mind if I don’t talk right now? Perhaps you can tell me something about what you have been doing lately.
- Could we take a walk instead? Being with someone and just listening to the silence is comforting.
- Thank you for asking about __________. I am so tired now, but can I call you in a few days and we will talk?
Please feel free to add any other ideas that you might have. The details that the three answers above have in common is that you have told the person you appreciate them asking about your loved one and you have given them something positive to do. You have also left the door open, so when you do feel like talking, they will be there. Many people who want to help the grieving just don’t know what to do. The problem can’t be solved by bringing the loved one back which we all wish we could do and end the dilemma. By using these answers, you solve both problems. Of course, if you are ready to talk about your loved one, go ahead.
Hopefully some of these suggestions have been helpful on those days or times when you just feel that you need a break. Remember that the next day or month, you may want to talk continually about your loved one. With these thoughts, you won’t shut the door for the day to come when you desire talking and give you some space when you don’t.
The question for next week is directed to those of you who have been to a TAPS Survivor Seminar. The question is: What is the best thing that happened at a TAPS seminar? I look forward to reading your responses.