Expectations are planned disappointments.
In the world of grief there are many expectations that get thrown around. We've all been there- navigating through unspoken assumptions that often cut deeper than we re willing to admit.
" I thought I'd be through this by now. "
" I will never heal. "
" I need a friend, but no one calls. "
" I thought they would show up but they didn't. "
" They said they care, but where are they? "
" I thought they understood but that comment really hurt. "
The list could on and on. It can cut deep when we really thought that someone was going to do XZY and they didn't. We assume that others understand what's going on in our head, but in all honesty... where did they get their mind reading certification?
This is were we as grievers can learn just what we need in our grief.
We know we need help healing because we aren't "through it".
So and so seems to be doing well, why am I not?
I really wish I had someone to talk to.
I was counting on that person to show up, did I even ask them to?
I know they "care" but I need more... How do I ask for more support?
Instead of sitting in the yuck, I challenge you to analyze it a bit. Did I actually tell them what I need? Did I ask for them to be here at a specific time? I am feeling lost, who can help me?
If we can identify just what it is that we need, then it makes it a bit easier for us to ask for it. If I don't know what I need, It's guaranteed no one else does either. Sometimes these conversations can feel difficult, but they are conversations that need to be had. So how do we learn to master this on top of all the other feels that come with grief?
The 3 C's!
Choose, Connect, Communicate
CHOOSE- We must first decide what it is that we need. We can't assume someone else does, and if we do, we inevitably set them up for failure. They don't know, they can't read minds, they CAN draw off their own experiences, but their experiences and losses are unique to them. Just like your loss is unique to you. So if we hope they "get it" but they miss the mark in how they show up, this is why.
CONNECT- Now that we have done some investigative work. We get to connect. A quick word of caution here. This is not something that needs to be said to everyone you encounter. Some people will never understand, show up, or give the words of encouragement needed. You need to find "YOUR PEOPLE" those people you know that are willing to sit in the yuck with you. They are open to tough conversations and they love you. The people that would do anything for you. Those are your people, that's who we need to connect with.
Communicate- Here we go! Remember, in this step that you can say anything to anyone, it's not WHAT you say but HOW you say it. We don't want to attack, yell and scream that they didn't do XYZ. Rather, let's approach it from a place of "Can you help me?" Who isn't willing to show up and help when asked? Your people will always be willing to help. When you approach with a "Can you help me? I'm really struggling, all the phone calls and texts have stopped and I'm really feeling lonely. Would you be willing to give a buzz a few times a week to check in on me? I often get lost in my thoughts and loose track of the days. I would really appreciate connecting more." See the difference?
Identifying what we need and communicating it will set us and others up for success in these difficult and devastating times.
You are loved. You are cherished. People want to support you, help them help you.
You're worth it and I'm rooting for you 💚💚💚