By David Coy
Some people in the midst of their journey with grief have adopted the attitude that what is done is done. I cannot do anything about it, so I will get on with my life. If this is our attitude or we know someone who is applying this mindset, we might ask the question, “Is this how we/they really think or feel?” John W. James and Frank Cherry in their book, The Grief Recovery Handbook, think this may not always represent the true circumstances in a person’s life. I was listening to someone the other day who made this statement – “You have to feel pain before you can let it go.” With every maxim or opinion, there is the possibility of some truth. I think some people do process, heal and transition quickly from their previous life before their loss to their current life with whatever may be required.
One approach is to live suppressing feelings in their journey with grief. Some people believe that this method of dealing with sorrow is unhealthy and will only get worse with time. It is true that some people do not cope well with loss and live isolated from expressing any emotion and this works reasonably well for them. If someone is struggling mightily in coping with loss, words of comfort may by appropriate or words of encouragement.
Another approach is in harmony with the phrase, “Silence is golden.” This might apply when you do not know what to say, do not know how to say it, if talking may hurt someone, when people do not want to hear it or when they would rather suffer in silence. Dionysius said, “Let your speech be better than silence, or be silent.” Respect differences.