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Finding the right (if there is a right) expression for grief is hard. Even if the person who is grieving is close to us it is still very difficult to know the words that will bring comfort in the moment. During my early days in nursing one of the biggest disappointments was in not being able to follow up with the loved ones of a deceased patient. At the time of loss in a hospital setting words and hugs were there but it was such a feeling of void to not further help the survivor in their grief. It was not until I found that hospice could do follow up with such loved ones even if they had not had the deceased as their patient that it was comfort. A comfort to know that they would be there in those early days of coping with the loss of the loved one.
A few days ago I was watching one of those National Geographic shows and they talked about animals grieving and how they dealt with loss. A young elephant tried to save his much younger sibling from a lion attack and in the fracas lost his life. It was so heart wrenching to see the family of elephants stay with the fallen young male for days and to then move on. Soon after moving on they were seen to be once again back to their usual behavior of enjoying the day. Maybe part of the answer for us in giving comfort is to just be there for the survivors. To be there and connect on an ongoing basis. Today I can do that as a trained volunteer with Hospice in their bereavement program. Jacky as I reread your post a thought came...maybe since grief is so personal we may never really find the right words for grief but we'll be there for them. Thanks for the great post..we need to talk about it more.