If someone we know had a broken leg we would not say to them ‘Well if we don’t talk about it, things will be okay.” That would be unhelpful. Yet some people think that that is the way those who are grieving should behave and be treated. They genuinely think that if they don’t mention it then we’ll be fine.
An autistic child was visciously attacked by another student for “looking at her a funny way”. Her head had been repeatedly banged on the floor until she lost consciousness.
When the mother of the attacker was confronted , she revealed that the child who perpetrated the attack had lost her father in a violent stabbing incident some time ago. The mother said, “We don’t talk about it and she’s (the daughter) okay.”
I guess my point is about the unhealthy attitudes that demand that grief is put away, that the sufferer soldiers on without ever processing their feelings, without absorbing them into their daily life, without being kind to themselves. These attitudes would seem to be at the root of much trouble and strife that we see in our world today.
“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
(This is an except from a piece shared by a parent from The Compassionate Friends.)