As I get adjusted to this realm of transition – which hasn’t really happened as I still have two photo shoots to cover and a few articles to write – I am aware of how society dictates how we console each other. Social media is the perfect example of the semantics that are delivered effortlessly. And while we mean well, many times the effort is simply a way to make ourselves feel more comfortable in the realm of another’s discomfort. Don’t get me wrong, the virtual hug that I have been experiencing along with the rallying of support has given me strength every time I have to face my new reality. But, with that comes some suggestions from someone who is still in the trenches.
Let Them Grieve
Whether it is a human loss or job or any number of things, allow people to feel their feelings no matter how long it takes. There is no time table on grief.
Stop Saying “God has a plan” or any number of unoriginal phrases
Everyone – unless you are agnostic – knows God or your designated Higher Power has a plan. We don’t need to keep saying it over and over. Right now, I am not fond of His plan. And while we are on the topic of unoriginal phrases, can we just retire “when one door closes, another one opens”? Simply because it is seriously lame and at the moment you hear it, you have just had your face smashed by the closing door.
Saying Less Is Saying More
“I’m Sorry” is the perfect sentence to deliver. It is short. It doesn’t require a lot of thought and it is genuine. People that have just been delivered bad news are in shock. Short sentences are better because they don’t require much thinking to understand them. In certain situations, “that sucks” is also applicable.
People who are struggling with a situation don’t want to hear your story of survival in the midst of their own turmoil. They want to be heard. They want to be validated.
Check In On Them
Text or call. While I am not chatty Cathy right now, I do love getting messages of support. The countless text and voice mail messages have been so wonderful and helpful.
Let Them Be
Don’t try to fix them. People notoriously try to fix other people when they themselves are uncomfortable with a given situation. I am not a car in disarray and don’t need to be “worked on” .
Lastly, I know my worth. Just because this segment of my life is ending doesn’t mean it defines me. Bigger events have tried to drag me down and failed. For now, I am exhaling, processing, and planning my next move.