Friday, July 06, 2007

The nature of grief...

I have spent a fair amount of time with my friend who lost her baby and although I know that I cannot begin to know the intensity of her grief, I have come to realise that as human beings we're generally pretty awful at supporting others. over the last week I have heard several people asking her how she's feeling and saying things like, 'it'll get better with time', and 'you have to deal with these things head on'.

Now I appreciate that the intention behind these sentiments is a good one but I can't help but feel that saying things like this only serves to make the person saying them feel better about the situation. At a time when things are so fresh and raw, the last thing my friend needs is to be told that she needs to deal with her grief. It is all that she can do at the moment to maintain her sanity. All she can do is try and stop herself from thinking about it for a few moments a day and I doubt anyone could attempt to make any sense of their emotions if they were in the same position.

I am especially astonished by the way the health visitors and midwives seem completely unprepared, even when they know the circumstances before they even arrive at her house. Surely these are the people who should know that nothing can be said to ease the pain? Sometimes it is better if nothing is said at all if the only words land up being trite cliché's.

I know that some of you have suffered similar losses and I'd like to ask, am I on the right track here? Am I correct in thinking that you can only start dealing with the grief of losing a baby far into your term once the sheer enormity of the grief subsides a little? I need to know because all I can offer my friend right now is someone to run to when she wants somewhere to hide, everything else just isn't enough.


1 comment:

Char said...

I'm sure that if your friend read your blog she would know how much you care about her and how much you would love to help her in her grief. It is SO important to grieve, and that process should not be rushed. The best thing you can do is simply be there for her when she wants to talk. Just listen. Tell her you love her and that you wish she didn't have to go through this. Tell her that she didn't deserve it. Tell her that you wish you could lessen her pain. Tell her you will always be there for her.

Those are the things she needs to hear. Not that she must "face it" or "deal with it" or that it will get better. Nothing anyone says will be able to lessen her pain or grief, and she shouldn't be made to feel like she's on a timeline.

Just by writing what you did on your blog, you've shown that your love for her extends beyond "formalities." You are the best type of friend to have in a crisis situation.