The World According to Renee

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When There Are No Words

Mist over the mountains

As a writer, I expect to always have the perfect word to describe anything. I choose words carefully to convey a feeling, an emotion, a sentiment. But sometimes, there are no words.

I woke this morning to news that a friend passed away over the weekend. He was a diabetic with a place on a transplant waiting lost for new kidneys. Although suffering chronic illness, he was not “ill” and his death was sudden. On Friday, he was talking about his plans for the weekend. It’s difficult to believe he did not see the end of the weekend.

In times of grief, there are no words to adequately describe anything you are feeling, nor any words of comfort to a grieving loved one. Some people don’t say anything. Some unintentionally say things which are inappropriate. Some people are at a loss for words altogether. The majority though, will settle on a simple “I’m sorry for your loss”.

There’s been an idea floating around my head for some time now, to write a book called When There Are No Words, about what to say to someone in the very worst time of their lives. In my research, I discovered that there truly are no words to convey everything one wants to say nor what one needs to hear. It would be a very short book. But, you should definitely say something to someone who is grieving. They just need to know you are there for them.

Brett, you were a good friend. Always in good spirits even when you felt like shit and looked like you’d been hit by one of those racing utes you loved to watch. I am deeply saddened and shocked at your sudden death. You’ll be sadly missed by all of us on the forum. Goodbye, buddy.

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October 30, 2018 Posted by | Thoughts & Reflections | , , , , | Leave a comment

Grief

daisy (reduced)
Image by grief.org.au

Grief sucks. It’s a natural response to loss, most often triggered by death of a loved one (person or pet).

I’ve had a project in mind for quite some time. Several years ago, a friend lost her child to cancer and something she said at the time has stuck with me: I just wish people would say something. By keeping silent, she felt people were not validating her loss.

Although she has a lot of friends on and offline, she felt few of them reached out to her to offer condolences. People just don’t know what to say, especially when the loss is too horrible to comprehend.

Since then, I’ve wanted to write a book about dealing with grieving people. There’s tons of information, books, and websites about how to deal with grief, but not about what to say to grieving people. Grief is something that happens to all of us – why is it so hard to find something to say? Obviously, nothing is going to make the grief suddenly go away, but people generally find comfort in others.

To get started on this project, I’ve devised a survey. It’s a series of questions about events that trigger grief and how you felt when people did or didn’t respond. The survey takes around 20 minutes depending on the detail of your answers: I’m ever so grateful for as much detail as possible. There’s no identifying information, unless you’ve already told me the circumstances of the tragedy. Otherwise, I have no idea who wrote what. Individual answers may be included in the book.

If you’d like to participate, please follow the link: https://surveyhero.com/c/8bf2609.

Much love to you, and I am sorry for your loss.

 

 

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June 21, 2017 Posted by | Thoughts & Reflections | , , , , , | Leave a comment