|my older brother, Dennis|
I am not sure I'm ready. I find it difficult to spend time with people, even those who know me well. Regular conversation feels pointless. It is hard to make chit-chat. I can only pretend to be light and happy for so long before I need to retreat, somewhere, in search of a bit of space.
*When I see someone who has experienced a loss, I will move toward her, rather than away from her.
*I will sit with him and let him cry. I will not offer a tissue, a pat on the back, or a hug, when he is in the midst of it. I will just let him grieve.
*I will share a memory of her loved one with her.
*I will encourage her to share her own.
*I will not wait for him to tell me what he needs. I will offer something practical instead—a lift, a cooked meal, a meet up for a coffee.
*I will respect her need for space and quiet, and not take it personal if she does not return my calls.
*I will check in, by phone or text, to let him know he is in my thoughts.
*I will not tell her to be grateful for what she had, or that her loved one is in a better place, or to be strong for others. That is the last thing she needs.
*I will remember his special dates—birthdays, anniversaries, date of the death, and make a point of acknowledging it.
I will use my presence to remind them they are not alone.