About two or three months after my son, Beau, died I was talking to a friend. He asked how I was doing. I said that with the passing of time that I was becoming more and more aware of the magnitude of my loss. The immediate response back to me was, “Still?”
During the first days and weeks I was just numb. Convoluted thoughts filled my head and I did not know what was actually happening to me. There was a funeral to plan. There were people to call. There were appointments to be made. We robotically went about the business of death with the help of people around us. In short, we were in business mode.
As time passed and the dazed and confused state began to wear away, I started seeing more clearly. I started feeling more deeply. I started thinking about the future in more detail … specifically, the future without Beau. I did not think about these things during those first days and weeks after his death. They say it is a survival mechanism. I believe it.
Yes, “still”. That particular conversation happened only a few months after Beau’s death and now FIVE years later … STILL. I STILL miss my beautiful boy. I STILL long for my sweet son. I STILL wonder WHY? I STILL have many questions. I STILL wish I could get a big hug from him. I STILL want to meet his future wife. I STILL want to lend him money. I STILL want to do his dirty, smelly laundry. I STILL want to hear his hysterical laugh. I STILL want to be annoyed by his many idiosyncrasies. I STILL want to text him to tell him “Get that off Facebook … now!!!” AND … I still want him home for Thanksgiving Dinner. Still.
I do believe MOST understand that we, the bereaved, never stop missing them? I believe MOST understand that we will NEVER “get over it”? But in the event that one doesn’t understand, just ask yourself if you would “still” miss your child if they died? One month later? Two weeks later? One, two, three,…years later? Would you EVER stop missing them? Ever?
Of course not.
Moral of the story… if you ever find yourself talking to a bereaved friend or acquaintance, PLEASE do not ever respond with “still?” The hidden message that we hear is “Oh, is that still bothering you?” “That” would be my son… his name is Beau … and yes, losing him is “still” bothering me.
I write these things for my own therapy. But also to educate. I know people mean well. I know they want to say the right thing. So I DO extend grace, I promise. I was there. I have been the person NOT knowing what to say. So perhaps just saying that you have “no words” to express your sorrow is probably the best. Thank you for listening.
Wishing you all a beautiful, blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones!!
Love and peace to all.