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Don't Walk Away From a Grieving Person

Story ID:9310
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2013
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Today is the 10th anniversary of my first wife's passing.

I wrote this.

Why are people so afraid of a person in grief?

Ten years ago, I learned who my real friends were.
It was ten years ago today,
October 10, 2003.

When Georgia died, my real friends were the ones who asked "Are you OK,
Mike?" and stayed to listen to the answer.

They were the ones who hugged me.

I knew who the uncomfortable ones were.

They asked how I was doing. If I told the truth, they excused themselves quickly.

They didn't know how to handle it.

They didn't want the real answer.

I learned to lie.

Ginny, who lost her first husband, said she told people, "I'm fine." Fine meaning,
"F'd up, insecure, numb and empty."

Please don't walk away from your friend in grief.

Ask them how they are, shut up,
listen to them and hold them if they need a hug.

They will let you know when they need your advice.

Our friend Glenda Briscoe (A widower) wrote to me: I'm "fine" was my standard answer too.

I hated people avoiding me, so it was easier to avoid everyone. What hurts the most are people
who ignore the fact that we lost someone who was our life. So many choose to ignore the fact
they were ever on this earth.

Love you and Ginny.

Glenda

Michael T. Smith