After my husband died, and shortly thereafter my 18-year-old son passed away, I wondered if I was on some deserted island, because people avoided me rather than bringing up the topic of death. Family and friends years later said to me, “Sona, we heard what happened. We did not know what to say. So, we just didn’t call.”
As a person who is on the receiving end of the devastations, I am going to tell you that it is perfectly okay to acknowledge the event. Everyone tiptoes around or totally avoids the subject. You don’t need to do that. There were many occasions I had to start the topic, so the other person would feel comfortable talking.
We would rather talk about it than pretend nothing has happened. Or to think that there is something else more important to talk about. Because there really isn’t. It is odd when you meet someone and there is only awkward silence. I know what you are thinking and you know what you are thinking. Say a sentence or two about it. Then we can go on and talk about other things.
Most of us who have gone through this type of grief are actually fine after the first few days. We have accepted it. We know it is final. Yes, it is sad. We will cry, but that should not prevent you from mentioning anything. Trust me, if we really do not want to talk about it, we will politely tell you.
The elephant is in the room, so might as well broach the topic.
Call up your friend or relative. Tell him you are thinking about him. You will also feel better as you talk to that person. A load on your side gets lifted as you realize, “Hey, I can talk about it. It really wasn’t so bad. He was okay with it. We had a good conversation.”
It is a great way to help.