“People treat you like loss is an infectious disease as if they get close to you they’re going to catch it,” a friend said to me in a conversation yesterday morning.

I never thought of it like that before. I never looked at why some people just couldn’t show up in my life. I always interpreted their distance as a result of my pain being so great that I couldn’t reach out and they couldn’t reach that far in to my sorrow.

Thinking back, there were those that did avoid me like the plague. I just assumed the weight of my pain and what I was working through was not theirs to carry. Plus, there are many areas of my Afterloss I need to travel alone.

Since we’ve gathered at this page I’ve read many comments about people being told that it’s time to move on, or get over it. First off, for me there is no moving on, there is only moving in, into a space in my reintegration where I still experience the beauty of my love ones while continuing to expand and live my life in a new way.

No one ever told me to move on or get over it. I think if anyone wanted to say that to me they were wise enough to know better. Two things you don’t want to do is give me unsolicited advice or piss me off, and usually those two go hand in hand.

However, there are so many comments here that share how uncomfortable some people are around their deep pain and sorrow. And my friend’s insight makes a lot of sense. Perhaps there are some people that fear another’s loss because it might infect them. I heard a horrible saying from another country that states, “If your neighbor’s house is on fire, hose down your roof.” Really? Is that what we’re here for or to do? I don’t want to live like that.

When people are uncomfortable with me, I just assume it is more that they are uncomfortable with themselves. I also decided long ago that when someone is so adamant in trying to convince me of a particular point of view they are actually trying to convince themselves more than me.

We all need permission to experience loss and all it gyrations any way it shows up. I have a friend that shared with me last night that his daughter died many years ago. He still hasn’t put up the gravestone. He said, “I just can’t say it’s over.” Then he said, “It’s probably wrong….” My response was, “It doesn’t sound wrong to me. There is no wrong. It sounds like this is what you need to do right now.” The tears that swelled up in his eyes were both old and new.

I am so grateful for the people that showed up in my life and held this beautiful space of non-judgment and compassion. That’s all I was looking for in those times when my aloneness sought company. I wasn’t even looking for understanding. They didn’t need to understand. I just needed to know that it was okay to feel what I felt.

If I could only give you one gift it would be for you to experience that it’s okay. Whatever you feel, for however long you need to feel it, it’s okay. Nothing is wrong.


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