The Grieving Stage – What Not To Say!

photo above courtesy of bing/grief

This topic was submitted by Tracy C – Justsuminspiration FB follower

When it comes to grief or consoling someone facing a tragedy, it can be hard to come up with the right thing to say that fits that individuals situation during the time. But, if I can be honest with you, there really is no right answer or right words, however; there are plenty of wrong words and/or statements that you can say that’ll make that grief period confusing as well as annoying to the griever.

Related Post: How to Get Through Loss During the Holidays

It’s common to want to make people feel better about a loss – it’s almost like our instincts quickly jump to the most “helpful” and “mesmerizing” words that will console the individual quicker. And while you may mean well, as we all do, the griever may view those statements completely differently.

I’m sure you’ve heard such sayings as:

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photo source/charlottegomez/buzzfeed/What You Say To Someone Who’s Grieving vs. What They Hear

Really?, I mean – did you know them like that? It’s not safe to say those words because you don’t know what type of relationship that person had with God or if they even believed in him. We can’t assume that we automatically know a person’s religious preference and while this statement may seem like a “traditional” go to. It can be offensive for the griever whom may be battling with religious issues and etc. themselves. Now, if you had a personal relationship with the family and the deceased then this statement may be okay, just keep in mind – it may not resonate well with everyone.

Anddddd, I know you’ve heard this:

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photo source/charlottegomez/buzzfeed/What You Say To Someone Who’s Grieving vs. What They Hear

Uh-Okay! Yes, they do need something…first, for you not to say that and not follow through and second they just experienced a loss, so of course they need you! I honestly think this is my worst statement to hear because, it’s always easy for people to throw out the sentence “if you need me” but what they’re really saying is “Look, I really don’t know what else to say so I hope and pray you really don’t need me because I really don’t know what to do if you said YES!” When a person is in grief, they’re thinking about their loved one or the job they just lost that maybe they felt like they were going to be on until retirement, now their finances are in question. So yes, they do need you – but don’t tell them to let you know, because nine times out of 10, if they’re like me – they won’t say anything to you. Just spring into action and do something special for them – take them food, offer to go out or just go over and listen to them vent or cry. Sometimes, that’s all people really need.

Another kicker is this one:

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photo source/charlottegomez/buzzfeed/What You Say To Someone Who’s Grieving vs. What They Hear

Why would you ask them that? You already know how they’re doing – they’re miserable and bringing it up, may have just opened back up the wound that their still trying to process. The best thing to do in this situation is to not bring up what happened. When they’re ready to talk about it, they will at their own time on their own terms. It might sound a little picky but we never know where a person may be in their mental processes nor the affect it will have on the individual by bringing it up. Being there for them is good enough and I’m sure there are many other things you can bring up that will bring them cheer and not despair.

A couple of other no no’s are:

 

How did he/she die?

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photo source/bing/questions

That’s a HUGE, NO NO! I have to say it irked me a little when I was asked that question when my mom passed in 2016. Like, can we get over the shock of her passing before you attempt to ask how she died? I know, I know….you may think that this is a fair common question, but not when the family or individual is trying to process the loss themselves; their loved one may have been sick for quite a while but asking can be touchy as that person may not be ready to reveal such personal information. Again, let the individual tell you all about that when they’ve gotten past the funeral; eventually you’ll find out what truly happened but it’s definitely not a dinner table discussion that immediately deserves an answer – Let them grieve now; the answers will come later.

And last, but certainly not least:

 

I Know what you’re Going through

how you feel
photo/bing/howyoufeel

You really don’t know what the person is going through or how they actually feel unless you’ve suffered a traumatic loss yourself. You can’t say, I know what you’re going through if you’ve never loss your mother, father, child, pet or etc. So please don’t say that, the best thing to say is “I don’t know what you’re going through and can’t imagine how you must feel.” That may not be what the griever wants to hear, because in actuality we all want to talk to someone whose had our same experiences, especially when it comes to death, but at least they’ll know you’re being honest and will respect you for not saying something that you have no idea about personally.

Related Post: The Hospital Window

These were just a couple of ones that I’ve heard or have been told – What grief statements have you heard that made you go….hmmmm…. – or what do you or have you said or done to someone whom was grieving. This doesn’t have to just stay with “death” but any loss.  Share them below in the comments!

I want to give a Special Shout Out to shoutTracy C. for this topic! I really appreciate you, thanks for following, reading, commenting and just being AWESOME! â¤ï¸

 

If you would like to see what next week’s topic will be, tune in next Tuesday between the hours of 2:30pm and 3:00pm on the Justsuminspiration FB page – I may just go live or post a video of me pulling the next topic – just like I did this one!

See ya in the next Post!!-1

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

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EnSpired: Meet Lyn Slater, The Accidental Icon-Fashion Blogger

All photos are courtesy of bing 

I promise, if you’re looking for a little inspiration in your career choice, dreams or maybe you’re just wondering – “I’m getting older, are my dreams still a possibility?” Well, let me introduce you to Lyn Slater, whom at 64yrs young has taken the “LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW!” mantra by the horns and recreated herself by accident into a fashion icon!

Lynn Slater4
Lyn Slater – The Accidental Icon

This story was so jaw-dropping inspiring to me, I had to share it with you. Lyn is the perfect example of not just dreaming but living out that dream, day by day and has taken the fashion industry by storm with her very powerful, yet awe inspiring fashion choices. You might say that Lyn got bit by the fashion bug as a child – she always had a love relationship with fashion and sort of used it as a form of rebellion in which started at the private school she attended growing up. Lyn refused to be conformed to the plain “uniform” policy and made her uniform stand out by wearing religious artifacts (rosary beads) hanging from her belt and not just one, but 25 medals!!!

Lyn-Slater-Accidental-Icon-Uniqlo
Fashion as a tool of rebellion, that’s sort of really my story. Lyn Slater 

With so much fashion saavy, why not share it with the world! and that’s exactly what she did when she started “Accidental Icon” a blog where she shares Weekend Fashion Bibliographies sporting her latest fashion creation, thoughts about life, culture change and of course – lessons on fashion.

Related Post: Let’s Face It, Everyone’s Not Going to Like You

Get to know Lyn a little better, by watching her inspiring video below as she’s definitely one of the many women that makes me so proud to be one! ðŸ‘ ðŸ’„💕

You can follow Lynn’s Accidental Icon Fashion journey at all or any of the sites below: 

Blog:            Accidental Icon

Instagram: @iconaccidental

Facebook:   Accidental Icon 

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

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Sunday’s Short Story: The Meeting, Part 1

photo source above and all pictures below provided by pinterest/blackart 

Original story by  Roshonda N. Blackmon 

Intro: 

The meeting is a story of a woman whom is struggling loss and the memories of her mother whom she soon discovers has kept a startling secret from her all these years. 

*    *    *

I awoke four times throughout the night; feelings of restlessness, anxiousness, nervousness and just downright confusion, all taking over my body like a plague. When I awoke the first time, I couldn’t help but pace back and forward up and down the floor like I needed a fix or something. My forehead, neck, armpits and nose all sweaty with perspiration, every time I tried to calm myself to lie back down; I got right back up repeating the same steps over and over again. I began repeating lines in my head like I was going out for a lead role in a major movie and needed to have my lines down just right…

After many tries of this scenario, I finally got up and trampled downstairs to fix myself some sleepy time tea, maybe this would ease my agonizing nerves so I could put my eyelids on shut down mode, even if only for an hour. As I sat there drinking my tea and slowly allowing its hot pressure to ease down my throat, a couple of childhood memories came flooding back to my mind. I began thinking about my first picture day at school. Savannah Park Elementary was the school I attended from kindergarten up until fourth grade, my dad was in the military, so making friends and being grounded in one place was out of the question for our family. 

Short Story: Broken Pieces

As I kept sipping my tea, I remembered picture day always being so important for mama. She would always get up extremely early just to make sure that I was not only ready but all dolled up for my “BIG” day. I remember her coming into the room always smelling as if she had just bathed in  fresh flowers scented with a little jasmine or vanilla. I always knew when she was near, her scent would meet me before she would. She would always look so refreshed, as if she had never gone to bed. She was always smiling and so full of life, I often wondered if she ever cried or had a bad day.

She would always wake me up with a soft touch of her hand stroking my hair backwards from my face, all while humming a tune on her lips. As soon as my eyes opened, I looked right into her big brown eyes with rollers still tied tightly in her hair. “Wake up Angela it’s picture day, she said, humming gently.  I have to admit I wasn’t so happy about that picture day as I had just lost my front tooth a week prior, so smiling was not something I was looking forward to displaying.  Somehow, I knew if I smiled, I would regret it from kindergarten up until senior high school; because mama didn’t care how I looked, she took joy in parading my pictures around for everyone to see – the only thing she knew was that I was her baby girl and I looked beautiful. She was so proud of me and always bragged about how blessed she was to have me. 

Black Woman - Little GirlOnce my mom finished pressing and curling my hair, she put me on  this pink ruffled dress with ruffled pink and white socks. It was cute and all but I was thinking to myself are we going to church? or am I going to school. Mama always overdid everything when it came to me. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the only girl in the midst of two boys. My mom was not only 

 

Black Woman - Little Girl2

crazy about me; but she was crazily compassionate about people as well, she never met a stranger she didn’t talk too. One Sunday after church we went to the Piggly Wiggly, which was one of our most frequent trips after Sunday service. As mama gathered the groceries and we proceeded to the checkout line, we stood behind a man and woman. I heard the cashier say  “That’ll be $45.26” the young couple who now looked perplexed about their food purchase, began looking at the two sacks of groceries in front of them. I heard the man say quietly, “We have to put something back honey, we don’t have enough.” I could tell this frustrated the cashier because her face turned from a smile to a frown in two seconds. My mom whom also noticed the transaction, immediately stepped in and told them not to worry, she would pay for their groceries. The man and the woman looked at my mom with tears in their eyes and said “God Bless you Miss” …. The man began to explain how he had been laid off of his job for a month now and had just found out that the company would not be rehiring him and quite a few other workers, the unemployment check he received on Friday was the last one until he finds another job and most of it went to paying bills. 

Check this play out: I Will Wait Until God Says, It’s Time – Part 1 

My wife and I only had $20.00 for groceries, he said sadly … thank you miss he kept saying, as he and the woman grabbed their bags to leave. The woman was in tears, she looked so sad and distant – she looked at me and smiled. My mother told them that they were welcome and put some extra money in their hand. That’s a day that I’ll never forget. When my dad got killed in the war when I was 12, my mom suddenly had to become both mom and dad. His death was a shock to us all, it was the first time I had ever seen my mother cry in front of me through it all, she managed to hold down two jobs, three kids and the bills. She was definitely my Proverbs 31 woman.

Black Woman2As I came to myself, I noticed my tea was gone; my cup now taking in the tears that dropped from my eyes. Thinking of my mother made me cry, as I now feel her pain and struggle of being a single mom and raising children alone, a task that I now unfortunately face. My husband of 10yrs left me a week ago to be with another woman. She needed him was all he told me and took his belongings and walked out. This was my second marriage to failure, my first marriage was right out of High School; we both were so young and thought we knew everything about life and love, but the responsibilities of the two took a toll on our young marriage and we divorced after a year. How did mama do it I began to think. What do I say to my twin girls, How are they suppose to cope with the fact that their dad left us to be with another family. How do I cope as a now ex-wife, my head began to hurt just thinking about it.

But, right now I have to pull it together and table those thoughts as I have something way more heavier than this to think about today. As I got up from the kitchen stool to head back upstairs, I could feel the effects of the sleepy time tea taking it’s toll on my body – quickly glancing at the clock on the stove, It was now 4 a.m.  Thank God for my older brother and his wife watching the girls for me. I need all the concentration in the world, I need to think and it would’ve been very hard with the girls going back and forward at each other’s throats. As I got into bed and began to settle into the covers – I could feel my eyes getting heavier and heavier, “Yesssss, I am finally feeling relaxed enough to fall asleep. I guess I have to tell Jackie that the tea does work, it reallyyyy issssss a goodd teaaaa …

It seemed like I had just dozed off to sleep, when I awoke to the annoying sound of my alarm clock!  DING, DING, DING, DING ……. what in the world? I woke up quickly out of my bed. Oh no!! Is it 8am already? Oh how I would love to get just two more hours in!! But the task ahead suddenly popped in my mind and I knew that I had to get up. I reached my hand over to quickly hit the off button on the alarm clock before it could remind me again that I had not taken the initiative to get out of bed….

To Be Continued…5/27/18

 

© Roshonda N. Blackmon, All Rights Reserved 

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