Brief is good

I don’t know how others handle grief when a family member has been lost but I know for my husband and I we prefer to keep the conversations brief.

I’ve gotten to hate the question ‘how are you?’ and yet people ask that without thinking (that is, it’s a question asked but do many really care about the answer?) and many ask it and don’t even know what’s happened in our lives.

How on earth do I answer a question like that?  And I hate telling people what we’ve been going through – we just really want to be left to get on with our lives. I feel like a broken record a lot of the time.

We have a circle of friends and family members we do chat with about our feelings and progress but apart from that, unless we raise the topic, it’s best that people just acknowledge our loss by offering their condolences (if they haven’t already done so) and then follow our lead. If we change the subject – keep it changed.  If we don’t raise the subject when you see us again, then leave it be unless it’s obvious it needs to be discussed.  Repeating the same things over and over and over again, although you might not have heard it before, for us just keeps the pain on the surface when we are trying hard to heal.

If you’ve lost a close loved one perhaps you’d like to share how you coped with your grief in the first few months?

This entry was posted in Dealing with grief, Family News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Brief is good

  1. Kathy Zengolewicz says:

    Well said, Kathy. I agree wholeheartedly. To me, grief is a very private thing.

  2. Melissa says:

    Well said Kathie. I haven’t lost a child, but when my marriage broke down I felt the same – I was sick of people asking about it, I wanted to move on. Grieving is a personal process, some people are happy to talk to anyone about it, and others, not so much.

    Huge hugs. My prayers are with you & your family.

  3. Yes, well said Kathie. I think people feel they have to ask about it to be polite and show they care, but really it just keeps putting you back in the role of someone grieving.

    It’s a journey that we move through at our own pace. It’s ok to just let the person grieving decide if they want to talk about it or not, and everyone just get on with life.

    Thinking of you and sending you all good wishes.

  4. Pam Archer says:


    Thank you for this insight. Most people truly care when they ask the question, they just don’t know what else to do. The desire is to help ease your pain, but no one can do that but God and time.

  5. Hello Kathie,
    Grief certainly has no rules, no order, but you have managed to define it in a very simple and honest manner. I guess when it comes down to it, people deal with it in their own way, the way that best suits them. You are dearly loved, by many, so am sure that has helped.
    Some say ‘surround yourself with loved ones, or people of support’, in reality, it does not apply to us all so follow what your heart tells you.

    In my prayers,

    Debbie xxx

  6. Cheryl says:

    kathie, I understand. I’ve gone through grief of losing my father at a young age to other family members, friends, divorce, and abandonment of new husband. There are so many stages to it. Some days you have the need to talk to someone and pour out your heart, other days reminising times, or going thru the what if’s and anger. Other times you are so tired of people asking you to go thru the whole story when you are trying to put things behind you. It is such a mixture of emotions and trying to figure out when you want to talk about it and when you don’t….then there are family members who don’t want to talk about it when you need to or vice versa. It is a paradym as you said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *