Thursday, May 08, 2008

Request #2

So this isn't in order, but it seemed the most urgent of my spout of requests all of a sudden like.

"The appropriate method for offering sage counsel to the grieving."

This one is a little more difficult for me to answer, but maybe not for the reason you might think. I've always handled death very well. Maybe sometimes a little too well. But I do find myself comforting those in pain and loss. Simply, don't offer sage counsel. Words won't do any good right now. So just don't say anything. Physical contact, I've found, does so much more than any words one might offer. Hug someone or put your hand on their shoulder. Look them in the eye. But don't let go so soon. Hold them a few seconds longer than you otherwise might, and do so firmly, but gently. Sometimes that's all a person needs to feel comfortable enough to cry. And most grieving souls will cry; and they should. It's a natural part of the process. Just be there. Hug them. Hold them. Actions are the important part, not the words. Eoncourage the process from start to finish. And after a little while, you start to remind the grievers that the sun also rises, and this world still holds some goodness and death is not the end, nor the beginning, merely the next step.

John, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Hug your family for me.

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