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.
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. 😉