Mar 27, 2008
How to Help Your Grieving Friend, Part 3
Forgetfulness and disorganization are also things you should assume your grieving friend is dealing with. Before losing Felicity, I was the organized one in our family (and I’m not even that good at it to begin with). I just tend to be the one who takes care of the details of life, anticipates events on the calendar, and makes the lists.
Since losing Felicity, I’ve had a very difficult time keeping my appointments, remembering a conversation with someone that required action on my part, returning phone calls, etc. Sometimes I lack motivation, but often I have good intentions; I just can’t follow through.
Just like tiredness consumes the body, grief overpowers the mind, making it what I like to call “scrambled eggs.” I know, it’s very technical language.
There are things that I used to take for granted, like being able to organize my family to go on a trip. So when our Christmas voyage was upon us to go out east to visit my family and friends, less than three months after Felicity’s death, I wandered around my room at the last minute, listlessly throwing things into a pile that would eventually get packed into a suitcase. And when I ran out of suitcase space, things started getting thrown into plastic bags and jammed into whatever space my forbearing husband could find in our trunk.
So how does this affect you, the friend? First, if you make plans with her, hold them loosely. Second, if you can remind her in a way that is not overbearing, do so a couple days out, or maybe the day before. I personally wouldn’t recommend phone calls. Just find out from her if she’s an email or phone person. And if she says she will remember, and then forgets, don’t take it personally.
(Read other posts in this series.)