The impact of words can really break someone. Read on to find out those phrases that really hurt.
One of the things I found hardest after my husband died was the inability of some of you around me to sometimes understand why "after all this time", I'd just "not moved on". That I was "living in the past", that I "needed to move forward", to "let go".
Those words hurt more than I can ever tell you. Please let me tell you this, in the hope you might put yourself in the shoes of others, and have some empathy for how grief feels, because I assure you, it rocks your life to it's very core, in so many ways, I can't begin to explain.
You say "after all this time" - I say, time doesn't heal. The heart will always hurt, and regardless of time passed, all it takes is a small trigger to bring it all back.
You say "I've not moved on" or "moved forward" - I had everything I ever wanted, a person who loved me as much as I loved them, and they got me. The grief moved with me, it sits alongside me as a peaceful companion now, but it will never be left in my past, forgotten. Grief and gratitude can co-exist, and in my saddest of times, I still feel grateful for the love he gave me.
I was not "living in the past", I just brought him into my present, my remembering him, honouring him, continuing to make him proud. He will forever be part of my life, that's all I can say.
Every day, you have so many interactions with the one you love, from waking up beside them, fighting over who will shower while the other makes coffee, cute messages in the day, eating dinner together, watching a film, snuggling up in bed before you fall asleep, all cosy and safe. All that, and everything in between, we miss desperately.
Helping Others Understand
Please be kind with your words. They hurt. A lot.
I am glad you don't understand, because it means you've never experienced this loss, but one day you will, and you will only then understand how painful it is. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
If you can try and put yourself in their shoes, imagine how you would like living their life right now. Imagine the sadness you'd feel, and times it by a million, because you're just imagining that life. - they're living it.
Just be there, be present, be kind, and listen.