Dealing with the death of my father has definitely changed me as a person. This type of experience really helps you to focus on the things that really matter in life, at least for a little while. I’m sure that I will go back to taking things for granted sooner or later. I also came to appreciate friends and family that gave me and my family support during this trying time.
I think that I’ve learned some of the good things and some of the bad things people do to offer their comfort to those who mourn. I will say that everyone deals with grief in different ways and so the things that I write in this post will not apply to everyone.
First, I’m going to note some of the things that didn’t go over so well with me. The number one thing that I found to be annoying was when people said, “It was all for the best. He was in a lot of pain.” I really hated that. I’ve had three miscarriages in my life and people always wanted to say that to me after each miscarriage too. I understand that the best thing did happen in each of these situations but it still sucks. I still want my dad here and I wanted each of those babies that I miscarried.
I also noticed that people really wanted my family to relive the whole traumatic experience over and over again with them. It was as if some people wanted to hear every gory detail. That or they wanted to go through a big emotional crying experience over how sad they were at the death of my father. I understand that my family wasn’t alone in grieving over my dad. A lot of people loved him and wanted to let us know how they cared for him. It was just a very emotionally exhausting experience to have to go over these things with so many people.
Now I want to tell you about some of the wonderful things people did for my family. People sent lovely cards and flowers. This is something I didn’t really appreciate until dealing with death up close. I came to love getting a beautiful card in the mail from friends or family who just wanted me to know they were thinking of me.
The food was also appreciated. There was one sister in my mom’s ward who kept bringing meals over to us. People would ask if we needed meals and we would say, “Oh no, we’re fine. Don’t worry about it.” It was the people who ignored that and brought the food over anyway that I appreciated. We actually ended up needing the food to feed all of the people who came over to visit with my father before he died and my family after he passed away. At the end of it all my mom and I decided that one of the best things you can do for someone who is in mourning is to hand them some cinnamon rolls (or any kind of food) and say, “If there’s anything you need please let me know.”
I was grateful for the simple sentiments expressed to me. People would say things like, “I loved your dad, he was great and I’ll really miss him.” Even a simple “God bless you” or “You’re in our prayers” is very nice.
Those people who chipped in to help with the funeral and the luncheon afterwards were great. They worked so hard and they did it with out expecting a big pat on the back. A couple of my uncles came over and painted the shed in my parent’s backyard because they wanted to help out in anyway they could. It was a big help. I’m sure there were many people who helped out in ways I don’t even know about. Thanks to all of you!
Again, I don’t want to offend anyone. This was such a learning experience for me and I thought I’d share some of those lessons with you. What are some things that you’ve found to be comforting during times of mourning?