On Consoling People

I think it’s very hard to console someone who has lost someone dear to them. We are wired so that when we hear or see or get to know that someone has lost someone precious, We somehow to put yourself in their place and take on their grief as if it is our own, and man it hurts, it hurts you to the point that you have no words of consolation, or of comfort. 

It’s the human autopilot mode- a nessecary reflex action.

So when one of my close colleagues told me his brother passed away, it was as though the whole world stopped. You never imagine bad things happening to some people, you never expect that such a thing will happen, but life is like that sometimes, it stops you in your tracks, surprises you in ways you cannot even imagine. 

Grief transfers very quickly, especially if the person is someone you hold dear or you like very much..  it passes very quickly and thank goodness it does, for something that heavy and that burdensome shouldn’t have to be borne alone. 

Death is hardest for the living, for the ones that have to find a way to make their way, who have to find their bearings, when the absence of someone you love creates this massive void in your life, overnight your universe very suddenly has a crack and you don’t know how to fix it. 

I didn’t know how to console him, of all the words in the English language, none could bring comfort to the man who had lost a piece of his soul, maybe we don’t have any.. none appropriate enough, none strong enough to describe what he was going through, but he did, in his broken voice, with his heavy heart, over the telephone, he told  me all these great things about his brother, his life, how his brother was newly married and the 8 month old baby that now has to grow up without a father, each sentence bringing me to my knees, the pain of it all too hard to comprehend. 

Everyone says it’s life, that’s the way it goes, some make it, others not so much. It maybe life, but man it sure is tough sometimes, its hard, its difficult and it can be a shot to your heart. 

I still don’t know what to tell him, the only thing I could offer him was my time and hearing. 

And after I let him speak, I called my best friend and spoke to her, even if she never knew why I called suddenly, she let me speak, and comforted me, even if she didn’t know that that was what she was doing.  Grief transfers quickly, and the faster it does, the lesser the burden it holds, just like rain clouds that have burst forth.

One becomes two, and two becomes three, three becomes four, and suddenly the burden of one person gets distributed over many people and what was painful before is now bearable. 

So if you have ever lost someone precious to you, someone dear to you, I am sorry… I can say I understand your pain, but it just wouldn’t be enough. I hope you know how much you were loved by this person and how your love meant everything to the person you lost, in time I hope you will heal again, and you burden won’t be as heavy as it is now and if it’s too much, call someone or write a letter, or write to me, I may not have the words to comfort you, but I sure have the time to hear what you have to say.

Because Happiness connects us and grief does too. Its what keeps us human.


Here’s to loss, life and friendships


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