So the wording of my deepest sympathy card reads as follows:
Sorry for your loss. We need better words, loss sounds so tiny and trite. You might not think it now but I promise you this: eventually hours then days will come when you don’t think about them. Hey that’s ok, it’s not you forgetting, it’s them letting you go to enjoy the memories. Mind yourself. Hugs.
My sister told me, after the cards went to print, that I'd have to remove the word 'promise' because it was too big a word to compete with the enormity of death and loss. I disagree. I'm not minimising loss and suggesting you'll bounce right back by the weekend, you won't but you will eventually get to a place when you're life will consume more of your time and your thoughts than your loss. In those early days of the initial shock to the disbelief followed by the realisation, the loss occupies every waking moment and most of the night before eventually rationalising yourself to sleep but you don't stay like this forever, even though it might feel like it at the time.
Maybe you'll even bounce forward?
In the wake of the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg Facebook COO co-wrote a book entitled 'Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resistance And Finding Joy' with Wharton Professor of Psychology Adam Grant. It's an amazing read worthy of a full blog post which I'll write another day but in the book, they talk about the possibility of not only bouncing back but bouncing forward i.e. to grow from the most difficult experiences of their lives. Click here to listen to them speak about it.
Anyway, grief is a tough old journey but one we all face sooner or later in our lives. I really do hope the wording of my deepest sympathy greeting card gives some peace to whoever you send it to, and don't mind my sister!