When someone we love dies, we struggle to make sense of it. We wonder why, we get angry and sad and depressed, to name just a few. That’s a very brief way to describe an extremely complex situation.
According to the five stages of grief, we feel
This is the Kubler-Ross model, and has been a long held standard.
First- It’s important to note, this stage business falsely suggests that it’s a linear and orderly process.
I am here to tell you it’s not. It’s messy and lacks order much of the time. You can be bargaining and angry at the same time.
For example, my grandmother died over 20 years ago, and I still get sad every time I think about her being gone. She was an amazing and wonderful person and she died before I could really appreciate her. Papa Joe died recently and I am still heavy in denial that he is gone, while also being angry at the cancer took this powerhouse of a man. Larger than life, irascible and formidable, and now he’s just gone. It’s so frustrating and unfair and I struggle to find meaning in it all.
Apparently the Kubler-Ross theory has been updated to include the step of “meaning” – Check it out.
So to turn to you for a moment, dear reader.
When you hear from a friend that someone close to them dies, what do we say?
“I am so sorry for your loss”
“You have my deepest condolences”
“He/She/They were wonderful and I am sure you will miss them”
Those all have their place for sure, and this weekend a friend, in his loss introduced this idea. How about instead of simply consoling others, we take action in our own life?
He posted on social media this weekend about his Dad dying and he posted a lovely tribute and a call to action which I loved.
I took that advice to heart and thought, “My readers need to see that, and maybe just one of them will reach out and call someone. For those wondering, I called my aunt, which I have been “meaning to do for a month or so” but, you know, life.
The temptation here will be to text, and that’s better than what you were going to do, which was nothing, and I think a phone call is stronger.
Pick up the phone, say, “I miss you” and then see where it goes.
After all, you can only take action, you can’t control the reaction of others.
Who is the person you think of when you read that? Go call them. Don’t worry about it being awkward or being a long time since you talked, you can simply say, “I was thinking about you, and I miss you” and then listen.
My hope is that you won’t stop at one person, but that you actually call 3 or 4 or even more.
“Don’t let this be something to be sad about, have it be a catalyst for a meaningful connection in your life”
– Matt Stephans
Who Will You Call?