Step 4 and Grief

Do Unto Others….

This is where you have to be very careful with context.  It is NOT karhma or “what goes around comes around” or anything else that makes people die.  You did NOT do anything wrong to bring death to your door.  It just happens because it’s part of life.  It happens to everyone.  It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad.  Mother Theresa died.  Jack the Ripper died.  Karhma had nothing to do with that.  Life did.

So with that said, the idea of “do unto others” still applies here and this gives me a chance to describe the concept in action.  If someone you know has experienced a loss, treat them the WAY you want to be treated.  If you experienced a loss, you would want people to TREAT you with love, kindness, patience, compassion, etc.  This isn’t about what you want people to DO for you.  It’s not about what you want to do for them.  It’s about how you want to be TREATED.  People are all different and their needs are met in many different ways.  You may want to be around people at all times while someone else needs to be left alone.  It’s not about doing for people what you want them to do for you.  It’s about treating them the way you want to be treated.  Treat them with love.  Treat them with compassion.  Treat them with kindness.  Treat them the way you want to be treated.  Don’t do for them what you want done for you.  Does that make any sense at all?  Hard concept to explain.  People want to be treated with love.  So while you might want people to bring you food when your loved one dies, someone else may want you to come and eat with them.  You have to meet them where they are at.  How do you do that?  Ask them.  It’s so simple.  Ask them.  Say “What do you need?”

Often times, just being present for people experiencing grief is enough.  They don’t have to talk if they don’t want to.  Don’t say “Molly says that you have to talk about death to break up the sadness and bring peace to your life”.  They may be too deep in the crisis for that.  You can’t do any of these steps when you’re knee deep in a crisis.  You’re just trying to survive at that moment.  You sure aren’t thinking about creating peace.  That can come later.  If they do want to talk, they may want to do that with someone other than you.  That’s ok.  Don’t take it personally (step 2).  Maybe they want you to be their normal.  Remember their whole world just got dumped upside down.  They need something that’s normal and familiar.  Maybe you are their normal.

But with step 4, if you TREAT people with kindness and love it will come back to you.  That’s all you have to do.  Treat them with kindness, love, compassion, and patience.  Treat them the way you would want to be treated.  End of this story.