Yesterday I crossed paths with a woman who I have recently had the pleasure of coming to know a little.
Maria had had a close relative die only hours before. She was still very much in the fog of death.
There is an unreal feeling that follows you, often for a long time after someone that you love dies.
Somehow it couldn’t have happened, it simply can’t be.
There is also often the sense that everyone can see your pain. Your distress must surely be a beacon to others.
More than anything you really want someone to come along and make it better. Just make it all right again.
Through her distress Maria told me two things in particular that made an impression.
One I will touch on here because it deals with last week’s blog post and the other I will address next week.
Maria told me how some of those at the bedside expressed anger when the person died. She said that there was a need by some who were present to calm the angry person and prevent him from expressing his anger.
It can be very difficult to watch someone you love die. Few things will ever require more from us. In the midst of that shocking situation it can be even more troubling to see or deal with an outburst of emotion.
The yelling, crying, or wailing, the screaming or even fist pounding can be very distressing. Our first reaction is to intervene and soothe the strong expression of emotion.
As difficult as it is, and as uncomfortable as it can be, I would suggest not preventing that honest burst of emotion. It needs to happen and will allow the people who need to ‘”express themselves” the chance to do exactly that.
Poor Maria was left trying to console another grieving relative who had an angry outburst at the moment of death.
Let it happen Maria. let the outburst go. This is a way for the grief to begin and a way for that person to begin to express what they feel.
Some things cannot be fixed and an angry response is one way to acknowledge that reality.