Good evening One Tough Muther,

My question is about when someone loses someone special in their life. Someone very close to me lost their significant other last year. They are the nicest person you could ever meet. Always smiling, no matter how they feel.But very closed off. They never explain or express their feelings. Since the loss, their attitude has not changed. They will not say, i miss them, or even really mention their name. Although when i went to visit recently they did bring up the loved one that passed, briefly though, but it was my opportunity to question how they are doing since the loss, but i didn’t say anything..My question is,when someone passes on, is it OK to bring up that person even though they themselves did not bring them up. Should i ask how they are doing since, or figure if they want to talk that they will do so. I’d hate to make them upset. But i also don’t want them holding everything in, i’m afraid it’ll make things worse for them.

Dear Amy,

What a wonderful question and one I am sure people are uncertain about often. It is very hard to lose someone you truly cared about or loved. Your emotions are on a roller coaster ride with ups and downs. It is even harder if you are considered a very strong or happy person. You try hard not to show your pain in public and to hide your feelings. You this because you don’t want the others around you to look or feel awkward around you, so having a moment of weakness or showing your sadness becomes extremely hard.
However, if I have been a part of that person’s life for a long time and knew either or both of them well, I always ask, “how are you doing?” By asked I feel I give the other person the power to decide whether they want to just say, “ok” or elaborate into how they are really feeling. It gives the grieving person know that you truly care and that you are there to listen if they need to vent.

So don’t worry if you are one on one with the grieving person, ask. The last thing the grieving people wants is everyone to act like that person never existed, never speak of them again or never talk to us about them. A simple “how are you” can make that person feel loved and shows your concern.

Huge Muther Hugs,

One Tough Muther

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