I posted the following request on the Give ’em Hope Campaign facebook group and page:
Let’s talk about grief and how you got through it. Maybe you are ready to write about or even make a video for the Give ’em Hope Campaign. If you want to help others then please contact me directly.
“… The last thing a person devastated by grief needs is advice. Their world has been shattered. Inviting someone — anyone — into their world is an act of great risk. To try to fix, rationalize, or wash away their pain only deepens their terror.
Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. To literally say the words:
I acknowledge your pain. I’m here with you.
Note that I said with you, not for you. For implies that you’re going to do something. That’s not for you to enact. But to stand with your loved one, to suffer with them, to do everything but something is incredibly powerful. …”
Below is the first response from longtime contributor and brother, Jack:
I will share. Almost 10 years ago I lost a man I loved very much to his battle to stay sober. Dave died of a heart attack caused by smoking crack cocaine. I don’t know which was worse, the grief or the fact that I had to hide what he died of from most people because of their stupid judgments.
The first year was the roughest. Every night I would dream of him and they were nice dreams where we were together and I would wake up in the morning heartbroken all over again because the reality would hit me that he was gone.
What helped me a lot was writing about him, talking about him, remembering him… doing the things we used to do together was important. I had a Jewel album that I didn’t open because we’d listened to Jewel together but then eventually I realized if I cut everything out we did together there would be nothing left and listening to it was cathartic.
Feeling the grief and the pain was so necessary. What was not necessary were comments like “He’s in a better place” or “I wish I was with G-d like him.” Also not necessary was the person who at his funeral felt a need to inform me, “He would never have stayed sober anyway.”
Time passes and the wounds heal somewhat and we move on with our lives, but nobody who is grieving needs to hear that. It’s important just to be present with someone in their grief and realize they loved this person.
GIVE ‘EM HOPE CAMPAIGN GROUP (or FAMILY as we call it): https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiveEmHope/