Your Loss and Their Expectations

Your Loss and Their Expectations

Often times, well-intended comments made to someone who has experienced a loss can instead be very insensitive and painful.  Some of these are all-too-familiar, such as “they are in a better place now” or “they are no longer in pain” or religious observations such as “Jesus has called them home”.  

Other times they may ask well meaning questions, yet really are not prepared for an honest answer.  There is also distance created by differences in life principles or spiritual values. This disconnect between what we are seeing or experiencing and what others perceive is very common.  They say “He’s in a better place now” but you are thinking “he should still be here with me.”

“Your loss and Their Expectations” is a deeper thought in regard to these interactions.  I believe that most of the flippant comments that are exchanged between the bereaved and their extended social circles stems from the fact that they are actually uncomfortable with loss, and may not be grieving but are reacting as they think is socially acceptable.

There are many reasons for these scenario.  It is possible that they do not want to interact with you as you grieve, they want you as you were prior to the loss.  Maybe they do not want to confront the feelings of loss, but cannot figure out how to help you, without being ingenuine. Or perhaps, they may think the ways you have changed due to your grief journey are not positive changes, yet you are just doing what you need in order to cope.

The point here, is that navigating socially while grieving is an exercise in being true to yourself.  If you can remind yourself that others in your presence are not in the same emotional place you are, it might be a little easier to understand and forgive these unhelpful, or accidentally hurtful comments.  Basically, they want “the old” you back, while you want your loved one back. These are just perspectives that will take time to get back into focus.

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