Today is one of those days that makes you really think about life and how special it is. Here in the US we’re taking time to honor those who lost their lives in 9/11. There have been ceremonies and memorials throughout the past week and into this coming week that encourage us to not only honor those who died and support their families, but also encourage us to be stronger as a nation. Seeing and hearing the number of tributes and events this weekend is encouraging and hopeful for our future as a united nation.
This weekend also brings up a complicated topic: loss and death. Loss isn’t something we enjoy dealing with and many of us stink at dealing with it. Some of us pretend it doesn’t affect us, some ignore it, some deal terribly with it, some never get over it, and how others process it (because they do actually process it) varies from person to person. Aside from intentionally hurting yourself and others during your grief process and not dealing with it, there are few wrong ways of working through loss, and you shouldn’t judge others for how they go through their grief processes.
Taking time to grieve and let go of things and people that were important to you is healthy. While it may not be a big ‘loss’ to move houses or cities for you, others need time to process the move and changes in their life. You may prefer to do a traditional funeral for someone as part of your grief process, while others prefer a celebration of life. The best thing you can do for someone who is grieving is to support them in whatever way they need, but not to judge them over what they need. Maybe they need someone to look at old pictures and remember things with them, maybe they need someone to get out and have fun with, maybe they need someone to go shopping with, maybe they want to finally see a therapist or counselor and make positive changes in their life, or maybe they just need some things to remain normal in their life and not do anything different together and be allowed to grieve in their own way when they’re alone.
How do you remember and honor people who died during events like 9/11, as well as those individuals in your life who have passed on in other ways?