Ten Reasons to Keep Reaching Out

Every time someone dies, there’s almost always others who become mourners.

They are the Grievers.

You probably let them know you cared in the beginning. That’s what we do when a member of our group dies.

But after that first month or so, you stopped. You moved on. And you probably assumed that the Grievers moved on or at least have others around to support them.

Why is it that we turn away from or stop attending to the Grievers?

Do we think being in mourning is contagious, like we might catch it? Actually, we probably will someday. Someone we love will die, and we’ll be the one who is sad, overwhelmed, and turning slow circles in the produce department at the grocery. So it makes sense to want to avoid it.

But there’s lots of reasons to reach out to the Grievers over the first year or two, not just in the first few weeks. We know they will be helped by it – but there’s lots in it for us, too.

Why Should We Keep Reaching Out?

OK…but How, Specifically?

Because they need us more now than they did at first. We felt compassion at first, so keep feeling it and acting on it.

Put a reminder on the calendar to connect 1x per month. Send a text or a card letting them know you still are thinking of their loved one – and use their loved one’s name out loud.

Compassion is good. It makes us healthier in our lives and wealthier in love.

Show up and ask “How is today for you?” Then hit the mute button on your mouth and be ready to really listen. Also, keep an eye on your heart because it’s going to swell twice its normal size.

Connection matters almost more than anything, and it’s good for us too. Community and tribe don’t happen by accident, or on Facebook alone.

Take the time for a walk together, or a coffee. Remember your mute button.

What goes around comes around. When we are the Griever someday (a long time from now), the Universe will remember and send extra help.

On the three or six or whatever month anniversary, take a dish over and leave it with a note that you are thinking of Sam-Mary-Josephine. Tell the Grievers to keep the dish (don’t add to their work by asking them to remember to return things). Far away version: a card, an email, a phone call, flowers.

Discrimination is not OK. And yes, we do discriminate against Grievers.

They are not broken; they are sad. They are not weird; they are sad. It’s OK to be sad and it’s not OK to judge or treat them like they are diseased or crazy or inept. They are sad. So show some respect by showing up in any way you can.

It burns off bad karma. Yes! It is possible to evolve from earthworm to squirrel in just a few extra phone calls.

Love is a verb. Go over and mow their lawn or weed a garden bed. Far away? Call a local gardener and have them do it, just once.

Deep listening means we get to learn new things about our own lives.

You really will be in their shoes someday (sorry). Listen and learn what it’s like, because the Griever is also showing a way through a really difficult journey. (See respect, above.)

Love. Giving love feels effing fantastic.

Send a text: I am thinking of you and Sam-Mary-Josephine. I wanted you to know that I love you.

We will become better human beings.

Try saying what you are most afraid of, out loud, to your Griever. Maybe it’s “I’m afraid to bring up Sam-Mary-Josephine’s name because I don’t want to bring you down.’ Chances are they will say, “I’m always down. Hearing her name is a relief.”

And every better human being means a better family, community, town, and eventually, world.

Let them know that their journey is informing your own, and they are helping you and everyone grow closer and kinder.

See how this works? Action leads to listening that grows compassion which burns off bad karma and helps us grow and be better at Being Human, which strengthens our connections and spreads outward like a ripple until all the world is better.

Yep. Remembering the Grievers will save the world.

Would you share the ways you let the Grievers in your life know, even long after the death, that you still care?