When there is a loss, some people process the loss within themselves. They do not want to talk about it. So how do you care for someone who is grieving a significant loss but does not want to talk about his or her feelings and struggles?
When Laura’s dog Lacey died, the loss was very severe for Laura. Lacey had been her friend, companion and responsibility for 14 years. Even though Laura’s grief was overwhelming, she still needed to function in her job as counselor at a middle school. In the early days of her loss, Laura felt like a robot, mechanically going through the motions.
Laura’s friends at work knew that there was something seriously wrong in her life, but they also knew that Laura’s way of processing the loss was not to talk about it. She simply couldn’t talk about it.
Laura says, “My friends didn’t have to know the details of my loss. Each day they still found ways to show they cared in sensitive, loving ways.” Laura describes how her friends cared for her with their words and actions, saying, “They acted and treated me just like they had before my tragedy.”
They said things like:
- “I know that you are going through a difficult time. I’m here if you need me.”
- “Good morning Laura. How are you today?”
- “What may I help you with today?
- “Is there anything I can do for you today?”
And, some of her friends didn’t even need to say anything to show they cared; one friend gave Laura a gentle pat on the back. “That small gesture said, ‘I care’” remembers Laura.
Laura’s friends knew something was wrong and they let her work through it in her own way. Even so, they found ways to show Laura that they cared and valued her. “I am so grateful to have these special caring friends,” says Laura.
This story shows that you can still care for your friend even if he or she doesn’t want to talk about the crisis.