I’m worried that I’m beginning to sound like I’m obsessed with death , but the truth is ,it’s the opposite – I’m obsessed with life ,and making sure it is good .For me that means doing good things with good people and protecting my family , my friends and myself . But of course ,when the inevitable or bad or sad stuff happens ,it now hits so much dam harder and it is so hard to bounce back .
Just after Grandma died at 2am ,I pottered .I made coffee, I held her shoulder ( she had liked that when her breathing shallowed, it reassured her – I think ), I ate biscuits ,I wrote lists , I tidied and watered her plants,I talked to her ,I made more coffee, I listened to Aled at 6am and then I opened my mail I had brought in from home .One envelope contained ‘Compassion’ ,the quarterly journal of The Compassionate Friends , and in that was a sort of card that you can give people who don’t know what to say /do when you suffer the worst loss, the death of a child. To me it makes a lot of sense .I’ll type it out and then I promise I’ll shut up for a bit and talk about something more interesting like ‘How good is ‘Prisoners Wives’ – anyone watching it ? /Should I see ‘the Woman in Black’ ? etc etc )…
For the last time ..here I go ….The card was titled ‘Ten ways you can help a bereaved person’ 1.say “I’m here for you” and be there 2.show you care 3. offer practical support 4. don’t take anger personally 5.be patient-allow silences 6 .listen and accept strong emotions 7. don’t say you know or understand unless you really do. 8. avoid platitudes-time’s a great healer etc. 9. allow them to speak of their loved one and speak their name 10. take care of yourself-know your limits
11. stick with them , don’t run away and say “I make it worse’ 12. watch ‘Coach trip’ and discuss at regular intervals
I made the last 2 up