At first, that may sound like an absolutely absurd question – and I wish that it was.
At the same time, a lot of people feel as though their pain is dismissed because of the manner of death.
Let me be absolutely clear about this. Because when someone you love died – it HURTS.
Far too often griever may hear variations of:
– They took ridiculous risks, you knew this could happen
And now they have died – I’m feeling the terrible pain of grief.
– They were driving under the influence, they knew better
And my heart is broken, I hurt so much.
– They made the choice to end their own life, how selfish
– They made the choice for their own reasons, which I can never fully know or understand. And even if I do know and understand why I didn’t make that choice. The pain is excruciating.
If you love someone who died before birth – those left behind grieve
If they died committing a crime – those left behind grieve
If they died a peaceful death at an old age – those left behind grieve
If they died of an incurable disease – those left behind grieve
If they died of suicide – those left behind grieve
Whether they died before birth, as a child, adolescent, or in their old age – those left behind grieve
HOW someone dies does NOT in any way diminish the pain of that death. That separation, the tremendous loss that brings about grief.
We all know that judgment about that person and how they died only adds layers to the pain.
There is NO place for shame, blame, or stigma in grief or in grief support.
All of those horrible statements above, which many of us have heard, only add to the pain. Shutting down support that is needed and deserved.
If you care about someone who has died – regardless of how they died, you deserve support.
If you care about someone who is grieving – please let go of judgment, know that your loved one is hurting, and simply offer your heart.
I’ve said this before, but let me say it again.
If someone feels the need to bring shame or stigma to any conversation about the one you are missing – I encourage you to tell them very clearly – their words are more than unkind, they are deeply wounding and only adding to your pain.
When someone you care about has died, you deserve support and compassion. Always.