Emotional support

 

I WISH I HAD KNOWN

Thoughts from our bereaved friends who want you to know how they felt in the early stages. We hope it helps

 

  • Do want you want to do as and when you are ready to do it. You don't need to explain or justify why
  • That I could have had a few treats like a massage or reflexology session at the local Maggies Centre, but no-one told me, I could really have done with someone being nice to me (www.maggiescentres.org)
  • That I could join groups that may have helped me. Singing, walking, crafts, all with others who had also lost someone they loved
  • That in those early days I wish I'd spent more time looking after me - magnesium salt baths, scented candles, reiki sessions and long walks listening to soothing music or audio books.
  • I wish I'd written more thoughts down so I could remember the journey I've been on and how our tragedy is leading to positive achievements.
  • That is was okay to say I feel crap, when people asked how I was rather than oh you kno I'm okay. When I did start telling people how I really felt, I got a lot of support, but by saying I was okay it gave them an excuse not to dig deeper so I felt swamped by my grief
  • That it's okay to do whatever the bloody hell you want or need to do!!
  • That all the horrific emotions I was feeling were very normal and part of the grieving process
  • I'd liked to have known there is no "normal" way to grieve and that we can experience grief in different ways.
  • I wish I had known just how hard it was going to be. I wish I had known that I would go over everything that happened from diagnosis to death over and over and over in my head every time I am alone.
  • It is ok to stop people if you don't want to hear what they're saying
  • How to let friends and family know what help and support you need, rather than what they think you need (link to family & friends page)
  • That all the planning and the mental preparing yourself for the death of a loved one still won’t inure you from the total devastation of their passing
  • Friends can often be the greatest source of strength and understanding after your partner dies - they are invaluable
  • Say ‘yes’ to any offers of help – you can always change your mind later.
  • People will want to express sympathy – I had to learn to say ‘thankyou’ and not waffle a load of inanities I couldn’t believe I could hear myself saying.
  • This is the time to put yourself first - always do what feels best for you
  • You will be given lots of advice from friends and family.  Whatever their thoughts - go with your gut instinct
  • It can be hard talking to those who have not experienced what you have. Seek out people who have been through a similar loss. 
  • You don't have to listen to the uneducated. Everyone thinks they know about loss and they want to tell you.  You do not have to listen, just tell them you are not ready.
  • You will receive many offers of help and, initially you may want to decline a lot of them - try not to. Let people help you because the sad reality is that will fall away - if you constantly say no, people will stop asking.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help - it's not a sign of weakness

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