The loss of a loved one

Help me understand this. Say someone has been in an accident and left in hardly working condition, we expect them to be grateful because “at least they are still alive” right? Well what about the fact that this person may not be happy “still alive?” Are they ungrateful for wishing they had died instead? I’m sure we could come up with a million and one reasons as to why they should be grateful. Here is where I find it a little crazy… If that same person died then we say, “At least they are in a better place.” WHAT?!? Come on now, how did it just become a better place when we were thinking the person should have been grateful to still be alive?

We do anything we need to do to cope. We say be grateful because we want to inspire hope, we want people to feel like they have a reason to be here but when they die we tell their loved ones that they are in a better place trying to comfort them.

Well…
I have lost a few very important people in my life, my mother and 2 of the best friends I’ve ever had. Let me tell you, it sucks that they are in a better place. I wish “at least they were still alive.” Obviously not suffering but putting all religious reason aside, how is it a better place when they were actually happy to be here to begin with? We will never see those that passed on (once again remove religious reason).

When my mom died people kept telling me that she was in a better place, I know they were trying to console me but I wanted to sock them so hard they’d end up in a better place. Then there were those that every time I said “I’m never going to be able to hug them, to see them again” would say back “not now but some day you will.” When the heck did they think I was talking about? I don’t know about you but when I lose somebody I feel crushed with the fact that HERE I will never see them again. My mom was really young when beyond her control ended up dead, so why did she need to go to a better place? She was healthy, happy, young (44 years old) and vibrant and it was AN ACCIDENT that killed her, NOT an illness. This was her “better place”.

I guess what I am saying is that when someone dies and you want to pay your respects, a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” will suffice. Another thing and I’m sorry if I come across as an A-hole but when I’ve experienced a loss of a loved one I don’t want to hear about how you know what I feel because you don’t. How you had an uncle, aunt, (choose the loved one), die also because at the moment and excuse my selfishness the only person I give a shit about is the one I just lost. I don’t like to hear the “better place” bullshit and I don’t want you telling me “you are strong Betty, you’ll get through this.” I know I’m strong but besides my death which I’m sure I will not be aware about but if I was it would suck… death is the worst thing that could happen to anyone as they stop existing right here, right now (again remove religious view here).

Offer a hug a kiss or a look that makes the person that has just had a loved one go to “a better place” feel you care, that’s respectful. When consoling let them be the one to find whatever they choose to use to cope. Whether it be religious belief, that the loved one is a star, the moon, a tree, whatever works to get through it but don’t add because it comes across as if you are downplaying what just happened and it sucks.

A mother that loses her child may be aware in her heart that she will see her again if that is what she believes. A son/daughter may be aware too, a friend, a spouse, a family member losing a loved one may already have a way to deal with this but… it is indeed a loss. A huge loss and the heart whether we want it to or not, still breaks, suffers and misses that person HERE on earth. DEATH is the only thing that is guaranteed in LIFE but it’s still one of the few things that as human beings we still have a hard time dealing with. I miss my 2 best friends, they were young, fun, creative and beautiful human beings. People that brought joy to the lives they touched and believe me when I tell you that they touched many lives. My friend Cecily was in her early 30’s when she died and my friend Manuel was in his late 20’s when he died. How does it make sense? At those ages we consider people to be starting life… yet somehow they are now in a better place?

I have learned to live with those 3 very specific deaths but I can tell you that I have not gotten over them. I miss them so much! I love them so much! I have learned to cope, learned to reach for anything beautiful that reminds me of them and used it to justify that they are now in a better place but I have to say that them leaving… did not leave me in a very good place and so I guess I’ll just have to wait to see them again when I…

go to a better place. πŸ˜‰

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16 thoughts on “The loss of a loved one

  1. Hi! I’ve nominated you for THE WONDERFUL TEAM MEMBER READERSHIP AWARD. You can read about this great award on my blog http://changeforbetterme.wordpress.com I’m nominating the blogs I thought deserved it, I do out of respect. It’s because I love how they always interact with other bloggers. Reading and commenting. They in my humble opinion represent the bloggers who support other bloggers in the best way! It is no way because I want to spam my blog, or get new readers. I really only want to honor other bloggers! Please don’t feel you are any way obligated in following the rules or doing anything other than accepting. thanks!

  2. Betty this is why I love you because you say exactly what is on people’s minds that don’t have the nerve to say themselves. As you know I lost my father 14 years ago & you know that last week was his anniversary & when I spoke to you about the hurt that I was still feeling…your words were so comforting & you were able to relate. A loss of a loved one is never easy & the way that every individual copes with it is different & as much as the people around you want to make you feel better…there is really no words that can take away the pain, the hurt & suffering that we may have due to the loss. Simplicity is beautiful & just knowing that someone is sorry for your loss & letting you know that they are there for you is more than enough in my eyes!

    • I love you very much too! Thank you for as usual taking the time to read my looong blog and for your very kind words. I totally agree with you too Yesenia, a loss of a loved one is NEVER easy. Simplicity IS beautiful and again… I really am truly sorry for your very big loss. Te quiero mucho de verdad!

  3. Betty, you’ve hit the nail on the head. My father died when I was 9 (he was 29), my brother died when I was 19 (he was 17). They were vibrant happy people, loved by a great many. Yet, when it came to offering condolences, they were dolts. A nine year old doesn’t want to hear that her Daddy’s in a better place. What could be better than with his family. Nor did I want to hear that my teenage brother was in that great reward… he was young and had his whole life ahead of him. We don’t ever get over it, especially when anniversaries roll around. We learn to cope. We learn to keep moving ahead, but pieces of our hearts remain in the past where our memories of them reside.

  4. There are no words that can comfort the tumultuous soul of the survivors of the deceased and coping mechanisms are unique to every individual. I think people don’t intend to be disrespectful towards those grieving a loss; they are simply at a loss of words in offereng condolences. The website http://obituarieshelp.org/ suggests that your points are valid – they suggest using the KISS principle: Keep It Sensitive and Simple

    Say that you’re sorry for their loss
    Share a funny memory of the deceased
    Mention their unique qualities
    Say that you’ll miss them also

  5. I wish I had said what you have. I have lost loved ones also and always hated when people said “they are in a better place”. How do they know?? As I am not religious, more spiritual, don’t tell me they are in a better place until you can prove it! Don’t tell me you know how I feel, because you don’t! Everyone grieves different. Let them grieve the way they want. I liked your post. Very well said.

  6. I think that when someone we care about is grieving we want to find a way to make it better somehow, so we say things like “they are in a better place”. I believe that to be true, but I know that in the throes of grief it really doesn’t help so I try not to say things like that anymore. Instead I say things like, “I’m sorry” or “I wish I could take away your pain”. However, I believe that those who die do go to a better place and that we will see them again someday. Sometimes people die when it seems like very bad timing, they are young and vibrant, but we don’t know God’s plan and I believe that he knows best. He may have some important job for them to do or it may be that those left behind will learn important life lessons from the loss of a loved one….we cannot know how all the pieces fit together from our viewpoint, but God sees all and does not allow anyone to go before they should.

    • Marie, I have always believed that when someone dies (how I cope religiously and my logic) that they rest, that I will someday see them again and that everything will be perfect but that very moment when they have died and left me… it is not what I want to hear. It doesn’t give me any comfort to hear, it is a huge loss and an awful lot of pain to endure. It was always something I needed to deal with my way and honestly all I wanted was for people to feel that my loss was a big one, a loss for them too so although the good intention was there, at the moment it felt as if people were saying whatever it took not to acknowledge my pain. This was a long post with the point only being that an “I’m sorry for your loss” would have felt more comforting. πŸ™‚

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