A year ago today my dear, dear friend Kent died.
There are too many things to say. I said some words about Kent last year that you may like to read here. He was an exceptional man.
Instead of trying to tell you in new words why I miss him and why it is a tragedy that he died so young, I want to say something practical about grief.
It has been a hard year, and I miss Kent. But I am only on the periphery of the life-altering, engulfing grief that surrounds his family. His wife is recording some of her experience of grieving at Griefprint. She is a gifted writer and this may be one of the clearest windows into raw grief you come across.
My small contribution on this anniversary is a piece of advice that has come up more than once recently: please do ask a grieving person about their lost loved one.
You won’t be upsetting them – or not more than they already are. You won’t be reminding her of something sad – she’s already thinking about him constantly.
We’re often too ginger in the West about this stuff. It means that the bereft get few opportunities to talk about the person they love and miss. How awful to never get to speak about someone so important to you!
So ask your Nana about her wedding day. Ask your friend: what were some of the best things about her son? Ask your uncle what he misses most about his wife. Ask what they would have liked most about Christmas this year.
Pick your time and place, and ask if they want to talk about it, obviously. It can be a great gift to be allowed to talk about something most people are afraid of bringing up.
God bless the grieving ones.
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