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What would you want DGI's to know about grief?


Lewis
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Hi Everyone, I will be leading a group of non-grieving people in a discussion about what we as grievers would like for them to know about grieving. I thought it would be good to open the topic in case you had thoughts that I could add to my discussion. These are people who care and want to help, but to not know what to do, say, or how to act around us. Do you have any thoughts to add to my discussion?

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1.  Never say “let me know if you need anything”.  Offer specific things you can do such as “I go grocery shopping every Sunday and can shop for you, I will text you Saturday for a list”.  “I would like to make you dinner, is Tuesday or Thursday better? I can leave it on your front step or stop for a hug, your choice”. 
 2. Keep reaching out and never expect a response

3. Never say “I know how you feel, my dog/grandma/favorite uncle died”.  Instead, acknowledge each person’s unique grief

4. Listen without judgement and don’t offer advice unless specifically asked

5. say the name of the person they lost and listen to the same story for the 10th time like you’ve never heard it before

6. Don’t stop a grieving person in the produce aisle of the grocery store and ask “how are you REALLY doing?” Just say hello and follow their lead.

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On 8/26/2022 at 8:45 PM, Trying said:

1.  Never say “let me know if you need anything”.  Offer specific things you can do such as “I go grocery shopping every Sunday and can shop for you, I will text you Saturday for a list”.  “I would like to make you dinner, is Tuesday or Thursday better? I can leave it on your front step or stop for a hug, your choice”. 
 2. Keep reaching out and never expect a response

3. Never say “I know how you feel, my dog/grandma/favorite uncle died”.  Instead, acknowledge each person’s unique grief

4. Listen without judgement and don’t offer advice unless specifically asked

5. say the name of the person they lost and listen to the same story for the 10th time like you’ve never heard it before

6. Don’t stop a grieving person in the produce aisle of the grocery store and ask “how are you REALLY doing?” Just say hello and follow their lead.

These are great! Thanks!

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On 8/26/2022 at 3:36 PM, hachi said:

I remember the letter that wifeless wrote years ago. It was brilliant. I'm sure someone must have it. 

I wonder if it is on the old ywbb? I'll have to search the archives.

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Unique and Devastating Loss (by WifeLess)
With the death of our spouse (which here includes fiancée, significant other, partner, etc.), we grieve the loss of so much more than someone we merely loved or were close to, like a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend or pet. We grieve instead the loss of: The one we loved most deeply, cherished and felt the very closest to. The one we swore commitment to in that unique human bond of marriage, which many consider sacred. The one we shared the ultimate partnership with to live as one and perhaps bear children with. The one who embodied our true sense of home. The one who was our best friend and who was to be our companion for life. The one we confided in, depended on and trusted most. The one who really knew, understood and accepted us as we were. The one we felt safe and protected with. The one we shared private moments and intimate feelings with. The one we mated souls with.
But it is not just that this most precious person has been torn from our life, as unbearably heartbreaking as that alone is. With the death of our spouse, and only of our spouse, many additional profound losses must be grieved as well. For we also suffer: The loss of who we ourselves were while with them.
The loss of the couple we were once half of. The loss of the life partnership we once formed. The loss of the husband or wife role we once embraced.
The loss of the life we once lived. The loss of the plans we once made. The loss of the dreams we once shared. The loss of the future we once envisioned.
Amidst all this, we are also suddenly confronted with many hardships we never expected to face at this point in our life. Besides financial survival, increased domestic burdens and perhaps single parenting, additional challenges less apparent to others but all too real and terrifying to us. We must now find it within ourselves: To create a new identity. To redefine our role in life. To establish a new connection to the world. To build a new network of social relationships. To discover a new sense of purpose. To formulate a new set of goals. To decide on a new direction for our future.
And we must accomplish these without dishonoring our former life, but while suppressing bittersweet memories of that life, so that they not hold us back.
Memories of happier times mostly, but also those of our spouse’s death, either sudden and shocking or after prolonged illness. We must further endure the feelings of guilt and disloyalty that follow us as we attempt to forget and move forward, but with our heartstrings tied so tightly to the past.
And all these tasks must be taken on at the lowest possible point of our life in the worst state imaginable. When we are the weakest, most vulnerable, most insecure, most isolated, most heartbroken and most emotionally exhausted we have ever been. Without that one person we long ago became accustomed to relying on to help get us through life's greatest challenges. The one who, just by being there, would have provided us emotional comfort and moral support to draw upon, as well as the strength and confidence we need to complete those tasks and so much more. But now we face all this alone.
Profound indeed is the death of our spouse. Unique and devastating. For nearly all of us, much more catastrophic to our life than the loss of any other.
And truly comparable, many of us widows and widowers often feel, to one other death only. Ours.

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16 hours ago, hachi said:

Unique and Devastating Loss (by WifeLess)
With the death of our spouse (which here includes fiancée, significant other, partner, etc.), we grieve the loss of so much more than someone we merely loved or were close to, like a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend or pet. We grieve instead the loss of: The one we loved most deeply, cherished and felt the very closest to. The one we swore commitment to in that unique human bond of marriage, which many consider sacred. The one we shared the ultimate partnership with to live as one and perhaps bear children with. The one who embodied our true sense of home. The one who was our best friend and who was to be our companion for life. The one we confided in, depended on and trusted most. The one who really knew, understood and accepted us as we were. The one we felt safe and protected with. The one we shared private moments and intimate feelings with. The one we mated souls with.
But it is not just that this most precious person has been torn from our life, as unbearably heartbreaking as that alone is. With the death of our spouse, and only of our spouse, many additional profound losses must be grieved as well. For we also suffer: The loss of who we ourselves were while with them.
The loss of the couple we were once half of. The loss of the life partnership we once formed. The loss of the husband or wife role we once embraced.
The loss of the life we once lived. The loss of the plans we once made. The loss of the dreams we once shared. The loss of the future we once envisioned.
Amidst all this, we are also suddenly confronted with many hardships we never expected to face at this point in our life. Besides financial survival, increased domestic burdens and perhaps single parenting, additional challenges less apparent to others but all too real and terrifying to us. We must now find it within ourselves: To create a new identity. To redefine our role in life. To establish a new connection to the world. To build a new network of social relationships. To discover a new sense of purpose. To formulate a new set of goals. To decide on a new direction for our future.
And we must accomplish these without dishonoring our former life, but while suppressing bittersweet memories of that life, so that they not hold us back.
Memories of happier times mostly, but also those of our spouse’s death, either sudden and shocking or after prolonged illness. We must further endure the feelings of guilt and disloyalty that follow us as we attempt to forget and move forward, but with our heartstrings tied so tightly to the past.
And all these tasks must be taken on at the lowest possible point of our life in the worst state imaginable. When we are the weakest, most vulnerable, most insecure, most isolated, most heartbroken and most emotionally exhausted we have ever been. Without that one person we long ago became accustomed to relying on to help get us through life's greatest challenges. The one who, just by being there, would have provided us emotional comfort and moral support to draw upon, as well as the strength and confidence we need to complete those tasks and so much more. But now we face all this alone.
Profound indeed is the death of our spouse. Unique and devastating. For nearly all of us, much more catastrophic to our life than the loss of any other.
And truly comparable, many of us widows and widowers often feel, to one other death only. Ours.

Thanks for reposting that!

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