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by Eliza Winters

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Dealing with the loss of a parent

Problem: I am feeling so lost. My mother died after a long bout with illness. It is hard to say this but I am not sorry she is gone, because she suffered so much. She did everything that she knew how to do to stay healthy, so I was amazed that she was not. My mom was my guiding light and my best friend, and I miss her terribly.

Friends ask me all kinds of questions about this and I am at a loss as to what to say. How do you tell people that you barely have the energy to get up and get going? I don't have words to say about my mother's death, except to say that I am devastated.

I know my friends are well meaning, but I do not have the energy to say much. Why can't they leave me alone? Why can't they let me do what I have to do, to get over this? I sound angry and feel angry so what can I say? None of my friends have lost their parents, so they do not know how I feel.

Discussion: No one can know what you are going through except you, so you are the only one that can know what you can deal with or not.

Your friends are well meaning and are trying to help you whether you believe it or not. They are at a loss as most people are in knowing what to do to comfort you. If they ask meaningless questions that make you cringe, and you do nothing to let them know, it is your lack of communication that keeps them ignorant. I would suggest that you might have to learn to speak up for yourself, so that you can ask them to give you some time.

Your friends are friends, not perfect mind readers. Maybe you need to realize that we are often at a great loss in finding words to express how much we really care. Most of us, just want to be there for our friends when they are hurting. Maybe it is excusable to be ignorant of what to say. Maybe it is even something that a person might be grateful for, to have such friends that are trying, although not perfect.

Please make some effort to let your friends know when you can't or don't want to talk about your loss. They only know as much as you let them know. Give yourself time to recover and let your friends know that you do not want to talk yet. I am certain that they would respect that bit of information.

Tip: Being a good friend seems to be determined by caring behavior; not by perfection, or mind reading.



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