Recently a friend of mine on Facebook posted “When some one you truly love dies, what are you more likely to say. “I sure am glad I worked an extra 25 hours so I can buy an ipad this month.” or “I would give up every possesion I have to get 10 more minutes with someone I love.” If anybody reads this and picks the first sentence, please let me know so I can remove you from my friends list.” and this got me thinking about how we often get caught up in the moment and do or say something brash.
I understand and appreciate that everyone handles grief in their own personal way and my comments here are not intended to be any form of judgement of my friend but even from the depths of life’s darkest moment, we still need to remain reasonably rational just to stay alive and ensure we are attending to the most important things.
Now, I can understand having regrets over giving up some family time in order to attain a materialistic goal but thinking it is reasonable to give up everything for ten more minutes with one person doesn’t make sense to my analytical mind. What about the rest of the people in my life who count on me to keep them safe, fed, clothed and housed?
I know that the comments were intended to instill in the reader, a sense of the severity of the loss being endured by the writer but the final challenge ‘agree with me or you can’t be my friend’ illustrates my point about needing to remain objective, even when facing deepest grief. Without an ability (or effort) to attend to things that remain important, we stand to lose everything and still not gain that extra ten minutes our grief process has us yearning for. How many families do you know about who have been torn apart due to reactions to the death of one member. The very time when friends and loved-ones should be pulling together to support each other, they allow circumstances and the illogical processes we tend to react to during times of grief, to irrevocably damage the fabric of their relationships.
Grief is a process that every one of us will face, probably many times, in our lives. It will forever shape us and temporarily, hopefully only temporarily, interfere with our normal life activities. We must resist the temptation to allow the grief to control us because that will lead to our own, and likely other’s, diminished lives.
If you are struggling with grief and have a hard time seeing any hope in the future, I encourage you to speak with someone. I suggest a minister, a parent, a sibling, an adult son or daughter, or utilize the services of a grief counselor…there are many people able to assist with the grief process. Keep in mind that grief generally announces that your life will never be the same as it was but that doesn't mean it will always be worse, just different.