May 5, 2022

The One thing we should Never say to Someone who’s Grieving.


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This morning I learned that a dear friend passed away.

He had had a stroke—at the age of 36.

We had been talking a few weeks ago, over WhatsApp, as we have every couple of months since he moved back to his home country.

Throughout the day, I kept analyzing our last interaction, regretting not having contacted him again afterward to check in.

We didn’t have a fight or argue. We made jokes and laughed.

It was light and fun, as it was always with you, and I was supportive when you confided something in me that only one or two other people knew.

Though, I wonder if perhaps I could have done more.

I guess it’s natural to question ourselves, to try to find something we did wrong, just to give ourselves the illusion of control.

It’s normal that shocks like this make us inquire how we live our lives, notice what’s really important, and examine how we nurture our relationships.

And it’s human to quickly be swept away again by the fast-moving pace we created in our Western world.

Trying to find some solace in numbing myself (because it’s okay to do that sometimes), I came across a quote that made me angry.



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Everything happens for a reason.


I get that this is meant well, but there’s a time for a positive mindset. But if we try to force it onto every single situation in our lives, it can feel toxic.

Because when we’re suffering, these comments minimize our pain.

There is no reason why someone should die a sudden death at 36. It’s the wrong thing and the wrong time.

When we’re grieving, we’re allowed to be angry, sad, disgusted, empty, and shocked.

We’re allowed to feel grateful for having known them, find joy in remembering who they were in this world and how they shaped our lives, and feel our love for them deeply.

We’re allowed to feel whatever we need to in order to process, in order to wrap our heads around what the f*ck happened.

Until we don’t wake up in the mornings hoping that it was all a bad dream, there is no need to find meaning in their death.

Instead of trying to find meaning in something that shouldn’t have happened, let’s give ourselves permission to feel it all.


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