Wednesday, 11 January 2012
'Letter from America'...
My friend Dave lives in the USA, is a father of five, a Christian, a great friend who I worked with for many years and an all round fabulous chap!!
This is an extract from an email I received from him yesterday...
Your last e-mail mentioned how difficult it is for people to talk about bereavement and loss and I must admit that I find it difficult too. There have been many times where I’ve read your blog and been moved by the rawness of emotion and wanted to say something but, because what I wanted to say always seemed so pathetic, I didn’t – please forgive me. Even now I am at a bit of a loss to know what to say. I think it’s a bloke thing: We always want to fix things, or give a suggestion to make things better but, faced with something that can’t be fixed they fold like a cheap card table (as by boss is in the habit of saying) or, just avoid the subject altogether (as you’ve already encountered). There is nothing that I can say that others haven’t already said but, I do want you to know that I am for you and always here if you need to write a note to work out any kind of frustration (or for any other reason)...."
I love him to bits...for his honesty and openness and many other reasons!
I think a lot of people who know our history actually don't know what to say to us, or maybe what not to say to us. We understand that. Truth is that our emotions can't be 'fixed' or made any easier with simple words...it's just not that easy which is probably why we can all find it a bit difficult at times. It's probably not helped by the fact that Ellie and I talk about death and about Ben and Karena and our journeys as part of our every day normal conversation (I don't think you can have gone through what we have done without talking about it as a formative part of your life....anything else would feel like we're somehow denying the people whom we loved so dearly or denying what has happened).....and contrary to what many people say,time really doesn't heal (it does help with acceptance tho)...so what's the solution??
To be honest we have no idea (!) BUT.....the good news is that we always welcome simple things like just saying that you care, writing an encouraging note, a hand of support upon the shoulder, an invite for coffee, or just a simple warm smile that can make all the difference....It's also ok to admit you don't know what to say, because it's about being there as a friend that counts - not any clever words.