“I am good.” Those are three of the most commonly used words. We use them when we see an acquaintance at the grocery store. We use them when we walk past a coworker at our job. We use them when we are greeted by a waitress at a restaurant. However, the reality is that those three simple words are often a major misrepresentation of how we are actually feeling, especially when someone we love has died.
When we spend so much time in life telling others that we are “good” or “doing ok”, we can actually begin to isolate ourselves from other people in an attempt to avoid dealing with the real pain of grief that we are experiencing. As a result, we don’t naturally tend to let other people know that we need support. We don’t ask for help. This is why making the first call to ask for grief support can be so difficult. When we make the choice to physically pick up the phone, make the call, and speak the words “I need help dealing with the grief I’m experiencing”, we are taking a step to let other people know that, in all actuality, we are not “ok.” In fact, when someone we love dies it can feel as though our heart is being broken and torn apart. The grief we experience when someone dies can leave us feeling devastated.
Each day we receive phone calls from people who are experiencing the pain and challenges of grief. Many of these calls come from people who are picking up the phone to ask for help for the first time. We know that this can feel like one of the most difficult tasks in life. Sometimes, when people call us for the first time they are unable to even speak because they are sobbing from the weight of their grief. That is ok. One time, I talked to someone who was literally sitting in their closet because they didn’t want anyone else in their house to hear them cry or know the depth of their grief. To call a stranger and let them know that someone you deeply love has died is a very personal thing. We understand that completely. It is feel vulnerable risky to make the choice to share your thoughts and feelings with a stranger. However, regardless of how difficult or even impossible it may seem to make that first phone call to ask for grief support, it is also one of the best choices you can ever make. Time and time again, I have heard people share with me about how grateful they are that they decided to call Community Hospice and ask for grief support. Time and time again, I have heard people tell me that their first phone conversation with us gave them true hope.
When someone makes the decision to call us, they often realize that they are not alone. The person who reaches out to us for support will quickly discover that there is another human being who genuinely cares about what they are going through. In fact, there is an entire team of people here at Community Hospice who deeply cares about them.
We are here because we want to walk alongside you during one of the most difficult times of your life. We are here to listen and if you would like, we can give you some helpful tools to use on your journey of grief. The first call may be one of hardest things you do, but I assure you, you will not regret it. It is one of the best choices you can make. It is a choice that will help you to take another step down the road. We are here to take that step with you.
Jeremy Brown, Community Hospice Bereavement Specialist