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Tuesday July 18, 2017

When grieving, some people find their spouses can be, at times, almost emotionally vacant to their needs. Perhaps your spouse has even said those infamous words: "get over it." No matter how much support one has from other individuals, the lack of support from one's spouse can intensify grief and blind one to other bereavement resources.

In life, sometimes we forget that others have personalities different than our own. It has been said that opposites attract. While this is true in relationships, it does not help to alleviate the frustration of dealing with someone who does not understand your grief. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that any time there are issues in relationships, it is best to communicate. When we communicate by asking a few questions, we can begin to understand why they may not have the ability to be there for us.

Many times, we don’t truly comprehend why someone would not understand our grief and our loss. Could it be that they have never experienced the loss that you have experienced? Sometimes people go through life and don't have what we call significant milestones or losses, so they truly don't understand. When this happens, I find that it is best to give them the benefit of the doubt and look back at their track record. Have they been there for you and understood other times that have been difficult for you? If so, reflect on that and give them grace.

My father always said that to truly understand what someone else is going through, you have to walk a mile in their moccasins. So the reality is that they may not have been in your moccasins. But if they attempted, they might recall some memories that they are not entirely comfortable with at that point in their lives.

Another point to consider is this: Many times, people in our society view grief as something that you just “get over.” Consider the following: If I lose a trinket, I can go to Walmart and replace that trinket. However, when you lose someone to death, you lose more than just a trinket, you lose a treasure that can never be replaced. The reality is that we never really “get over” our grief, we just simply weave each loss into the fabric of our lives. We simply accept the loss and move on because life forces us to do so. Yet we never “get over” our losses. The reality in this is that although your loved one is gone, no one can ever take them out of your heart. And remember that the memories you have of your loved one are gifts from God—true presents that get us through the hard times when we don’t think we will be able to put one foot in front of the other.

So, to summarize, communicate with them. Find out their losses. Give them grace, because they may be experiencing pain, too. And remind them that you didn’t lose a trinket, you lost a treasure.

—Saundra Yates, Bereavement Coordinator/Chaplain (Mount Airy Office)

Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care offers free grief support to the community at large. For more information, contact us today at 336-789-2922 (toll-free 1-888-789-2922).

Tags: Grief Support