Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is one of my favorite authors, and a true pioneer in my field. Years ago, the Swedish psychiatrist began to write and research (almost exclusively) on the process of death and dying – what it looks & feels like. Side note: On Death and Dying is a phenomenal read for clinicians and non-clinicians alike. The ‘stages of grief’ comes from her work.
Grief isn’t fun, nor is it pretty. It can be really messy. The thing about grief, though, is that it’s not linear. It comes and goes, in its various forms, often without notice.
A dear friend of mine, only age 29, has lost both parents within the past five years.
Sometimes there aren’t words. I find myself almost in a state of disbelief, having known my friend’s mother since 6th grade.
As I was taught in grad school (albeit in a slightly different context), silence is okay. Sometimes we need to be the person on the other end of the phone or on the couch- crying, laughing, or intently listening. Maybe the best we can give is our presence, because that’s what the grieving person needs.