Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Who Makes This Stuff Up?

I get absolutely nuts when people are praised for being a pillar of strength when a loved one dies. Who decided that strength and stoicism
were the barometers for successful grieving?

Oprah once had some gentlemen on her show that had experienced the death of their father at a young age. She was so impressed that the very next day they were back at school. Why was that deserving of praise?
Liam Neeson and his son's Michael, 13, and Daniel, 12, were recently praised for showing "remarkable public poise" after the death of Natasha Richardson. Who decided that public poise is something to be complimented?
In my opinion, giving kudos to those that grieve in nice, neat packages is hurtful and harmful. I suppose that it would be nice if volcanos never actually erupted, but they do. Their energy can't be contained forever. Well, grief energy can't be contained forever either - even if non-grievers would feel more comfortable with us being "poised." And does that make those of us that display our emotions more openly, a total failure at grief? There simply isn't a reason to applaud or judge how somebody grieves. Being open, supportive and present for them is a much better use of your time.
Accolades are for accomplishments. Grief is a part of life that hurts really, really, really bad. A grieving person does not need, nor do they deserve, a report card.

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