Friends in Times of Grief

At the funeral of a friend’s mother-in-law, I spoke with the widower, a man in his 80’s who had just lost his wife of some 50 years. He was devastated, clearly in the depths of grief and loss. Still, he told me that meeting so many wonderful people at this difficult time, mostly friends of his children, had helped restore him to some degree.
I know this feeling. After the loss of my parents I felt that emptiness, that sensation of being adrift in the world without the stability of their presence. It was the company of friends and family that helped reconnect me to life.
When someone you care about has lost a parent, or friend, or family member, call them. Don’t imagine that they want privacy (if they do they’ll tell you.) Listen to them and help them reconnect the shattered bonds of humanity through personal contact and concern.
Love is connection. None of us can replace someone who has died, but we can begin to weave back together the bonds of human connection that sustain us emotionally by simply talking to and supporting our grieving friends and family. Not just in the days surrounding the funeral but also in the weeks and months afterward.

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