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Jan. 29th, 2007 @ 09:18 am (no subject)
Foot -> Mouth.

I do not know how to deal with grief. Not my own, and even less, with others.

In retrospect I can see the fuck up on my part.

Our friend Willow died, Emily called me to tell me and I said I was sorry and then proceeded to tell her about my day.

I'm very much saddenned by Willows death. Cancer took her far before her time. But I deal with grief by not dealing with it. I distract myself and keep myself busy doing other things and thinking about other things so I do feel depressed. I've been depressed, it is very, very, very hard to become undepressed. Now I dance around things that will depress me and fight to keep the positive frame of mind that I have.

And often, when people are depressed, I try to change the subject to happier things.

Unfortunately Emily took my avoidance of the subject as me not caring about Willows death or about her grief.

So, any suggestions on better ways to deal with grief, that helps me keep a stable frame of mind and also allows me to console other people without looking like an ass?
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Ceci n'est pas une personne.
Date:January 29th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
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I tend to do this too and have a hard time remembering that other people might want to process and when I just want to avoid the topic for the moment. If I were you, I would just check in with Emily and see how she's doing. Let her know you are there to talk if she needs it, but also tell her that you deal with your grief differently. So while you can listen to her, you aren't ready to share your feelings just yet.
Date:January 29th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Everyone deals with their grief in a different way. Offer condolences, support and an ear. Leave it at that. You don't need to interject much or respond to every comment. Just listen and leave the channel of communication open.

Things not to say: "I know how you feel", "I understand".

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Date:January 29th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Like I told you, there are no good ways to react to news like that.

I'd simply let her know that you do care, both about Willow's death, and her feelings.

Everyone deals with grief differently. Some people get totally hammered and do stupid shit. Other people get stuck in depression, or learn ways around it. there are tons of ways, and it's not unreasonable to expect that someone else will react differently. I can definitely see where Emily would read that reaction the wrong way, but I'm sure that's simply because she's having a hard time and dealing with the grief her way.

I'm sure you can work it out though, communication is what makes life interesting, at least.
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Date:January 30th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
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Everyone reacts differently. Some people react with laughter because they are so shocked!

I can understand this. Maybe not saying anything at all first, letting the news sink in, might help? I know I have trouble letting myself feel big feelings and I need to take time to let them sink in and experience them.

I'm sorry about your friend.