to not be overly sympathetic to grieving friend

(436 Posts)
znaika Sun 12-Jan-14 21:34:04

I know that everyone feels grief in different ways and that some people feel genuine upset at the death of their pets etc, however, AIBUnreasonbly cuntish to feel infuriated by a colleague who keeps banging on about what a tough year 2013 was, becasue she lost her grandmother.
She was not raised by her, she's in her 40s - her grandmother was in her 90s, she had a month's compassionate leave, and while I understand she may miss her, it's really not that tragic is it? to lose an extremely elderly relative.

anakin40 Thu 16-Jan-14 20:44:59

It does strike me that people bleed it for all its worth. As an adult, we expect our parents and grandparents to die before us. As difficult and as painful as that is, it is not like losing a child. Life shouldn't stop while you fall apart and indulge yourself in grief. Cry until after the funeral, pick yourself up and get on with it. Get back to work!

They do indeed make perfect sense. A brilliant post.

SarahAndFuckTheResolutions Thu 16-Jan-14 21:06:59

Everlong, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry, and I'm so sorry about your son, it's an unimaginable loss.

Thank you everyone, I'm glad I managed to make some sense of what I meant.

everlong Thu 16-Jan-14 21:12:34

No no don't worry Sarah.. just sad for you having lost so much but glad you have your son..thank you for your kind words about my son also flowers

ithaka Thu 16-Jan-14 22:15:45

Sarah I am so sorry for your losses and everyone else on this thread who has lost a loved one. It can be so cruel and random, it is hard to comprehend. I would not wish what I have been through on anyone, really it is better not to understand the pain of a bereaved parent - who would want to know what that feels like?

My greatest wish is that I never have to go though it again and I wish the same for all of us.

Belize Thu 16-Jan-14 23:05:45

Sarah sad thanks.

Absolutely humbling post as have been everlong's and ithaka's and of course to everyone who has had such an awful experience the like of which none of us should ever have to go through.

Not that it's down to me but I hope this thread finishes on these last few shared experiences as there really isn't anything anyone can add IMHO.

messalina Thu 16-Jan-14 23:14:31

2013 was a tough year for the children of Syria. I know grief is relative and I too was very sad when my grandparents died but to take a month's leave for the death of a relative in their 90s seems very unusual.

messalina Thu 16-Jan-14 23:23:47

Am sure thread has moved on by now but I cannot believe people were calling a widow a bitch several pages ago. I can understand her anger. She lost her husband at a tragically young age. Losing a grandparent in their 90s is just not the same as losing a husband in one's thirties.

LoveAndDeath Fri 17-Jan-14 16:43:58

The thing is, znaika's colleague has a job. And in the world of work their has to be fairness to everyone. So there must be "norms"
When my granny died, I got a few days off work. It took more than a few days to get over her loss but elderly people died, people are expected to work around it. When my Dad died, I got 10 days off work, when my daughter died, I went back to work four months later when my maternity leave ended. I was only just able. You can't give one person a few days off when their granny dies and give their colleague a month. Who is to say who misses their granny more and who is suffering more. So their have to be norms and rules.

I was not "over" my daughter's death after four months, who would be? I will never be over my daughter's death. But at some point, I had to go back to work if I wanted to continue to work at all. I had to decide if I could do the job and carry on. I take two days off a year relating to my daughter, her birthday and the anniversary of her death. Those two days come out of my annual leave.

And actually yes, from my perspective, of course I can't tell someone else how they should feel after the death of their beloved grandmother and wouldn't presume to do so but if they were phoning me six months later looking for time relating to their granny's death, after they had taken a paid month off around the time of her death, damn right I would be thinking that they needed to get some perspective. Old people die. It's the natural order of things. Yes, get upset. Yes, remember your granny. But don't let it impact on your work. That's not "ranking" grief, it's just common sense.

And of course we can and should rank grief. Not in a hard-and-fast way because some grannies are closer to their grandchildren than other grannies, some parents die younger and more unexpectedly than others, some people regard pets as being part of the family. But if you don't rank it in some way, you get the situation that everlong and I have both experienced where a stupid person compared the loss of our children to the loss of a pet ( in my case it was the stupid person's dog!)

Adeleh Fri 17-Jan-14 17:00:18

So sorry for your loss, Love thanks
Your post very moving.

horsetowater Fri 17-Jan-14 18:56:34

Going back to Sarah's post - I also don't think you can 'rank' loss.

My mother lost 3 sons and her husband. I lost 3 brothers and my father. Who suffers more? Of couse she does - but I suffer because my dcs have lost the vast majority of their extended family (the cousins live with their Mums - dbs were separated). I suffer because I have no family backup - if something goes wrong there is literally no-one to turn to and this will continue through my adult life now. No advice from brothers, no sharing, no talk about the old days. No money loaned and repaid, no birthday parties, no joint holidays, no cousins for the dcs.

My mother is 86 and she went through the war in fairly extreme circumstances. She has seen far worse than any of us here and has survived through it. Resilience is her middle name.

In real terms, I am suffering far more than she is, been off kilter for a year or two, coping with a prospect of a future with little or no extended family. She still has her routine, her health is good, she's looking after herself while I'm overeating and faffing about, lost confidence, trying to deal with the aftermath of dbs leaving children and intestate which is complicated.

But I absolutely feel a duty to look after her and put my own needs second even though mine may be far greater / my reaction to the losses has been far worse than hers.

Ironically she doesn't want mollycoddling or looking after and sends anyone packing that thinks they know what's best for her so I can't win. But it does get hard when everyone around me shows huge concern for her and absolutely none for me because I am 'just' the sister / daughter.

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