Also it was with a sense of utter disbelieve that I read this article.
What a load of rubbish and anecdotal evidence, it read like a page filler. I'm sure McQueen has mentioned on many an occasion about hating fashion, that is perfectly normal when you work in any industry. What teacher, doctor, lawyer to name a few hasn't uttered the same thing about their professions.
Then the constant drawing upon his drug abuse, blah, blah. Basically I don't think anyone can know how grief will hit them. Any view on the why is speculation, grief was the cause and it manifests itself in many ways.
Equally, I realised that I had no idea what to do when someone losses someone they love. Of course I've lost family and friends but in the main this has been elderly relatives. I haven't lost a husband, mother, child, father, wife, sibling etc. The immediacy of these relationships have a devastating effect. When my grandpa died I lay in bed for 2 days in a darken room far from home at university. I travelled home and found everyone had been paralysed in some way by his loss. I set about finalising the funeral arrangements, signing the death certificate and sat waiting on the wall of my grandparents house for the funeral car on the day of his funeral. I also stayed with my grandma for a week afterwards. But I was free, with no responsibilities no children, mortgage, or job - how would I find the time or mange now? I really don't know. What would anyone be able to do for me if I was in Lee McQueen's shoes. As my dad says you never get over losing your mother.
I found some useful advice on how to listen and this forms the basis of my post. Listening and being there are two important factors in helping with grief and loss, but I also think we can add doing practical things like, washing, preparing food, cleaning the house, shopping - in fact all manner of things. I'm not suggesting for a moment one can prevent an overwhelming response to grief but I do think we can step back from the day to day and take time out for friends or family to help them in times of distress. The bereaved need to feel that their loss is acknowledged, it’s not too terrible to talk about, and their loved one won’t be forgotten.
While you should never try to force someone to open up, it’s important to let the bereaved know they have permission to talk about the loss. Talk candidly about the person who died and don’t steer away from the subject if the deceased’s name comes up. When it seems appropriate, ask sensitive questions – without being nosy – that invite the grieving person to openly express his or her feelings. Try simply asking, “Do you feel like talking?”
Accept and acknowledge all feelings. Let the grieving person know that it’s okay to cry in front of you, to get angry, or to break down. Don’t try to reason with them over how they should or shouldn’t feel. The bereaved should feel free to express their feelings, without fear of judgment, argument, or criticism.
Be willing to sit in silence. Don’t press if the grieving person doesn’t feel like talking. You can offer comfort and support with your silent presence. If you can’t think of something to say, just offer eye contact, a squeeze of the hand, or a reassuring hug.
Let the bereaved talk about how their loved one died. People who are grieving may need to tell the story over and over again, sometimes in minute detail. Be patient. Repeating the story is a way of processing and accepting the death. With each retelling, the pain lessens.
Offer comfort and reassurance without minimizing the loss. Tell the bereaved that what they’re feeling is okay. If you’ve gone through a similar loss, share your own experience if you think it would help. However, don’t give unsolicited advice, claim to “know” what the person is feeling, or compare your grief to theirs.
Comments to avoid when comforting the bereaved
- "I know how you feel." One can never know how another may feel. You could, instead, ask your friend to tell you how he or she feels.
- "It's part of God's plan." This phrase can make people angry and they often respond with, "What plan? Nobody told me about any plan."
- "Look at what you have to be thankful for." They know they have things to be thankful for, but right now they are not important.
- "He's in a better place now." The bereaved may or may not believe this. Keep your beliefs to yourself unless asked.
- "This is behind you now; it's time to get on with your life." Sometimes the bereaved are resistant to getting on with because they feel this means "forgetting" their loved one. In addition, moving on is easier said than done. Grief has a mind of its own and works at its own pace.
- Statements that begin with "You should" or "You will." These statements are too directive. Instead you could begin your comments with: "Have you thought about. . ." or "You might. . ."
The advice on what not to say is taken from the American Hospice Foundation, which I thought was very useful because I think we are all guilty of offering up something like 'he's in a better place now'. I also discovered that if anyone said they wanted to die or couldn't cope or go on then act immediately, don't leave them alone and get professional help.
Reading through the many websites I was struck by a great deal of tenderness and when Chanel said that fashion is all around us and so forth, one can't help but wonder if broderie anglaise is the right way to go! Perhaps a little less 'fierce' would be a start...