A few days ago, I started crying in the taxi. I wasn’t sobbing, but I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. I turned towards the window, so that nobody should see, but the girl sitting next to me had already noticed. She leaned forward and asked how I was doing.
“Thank you. A friend of mine died, I’m sad, it’s hard, that’s all.”
It was the best answer I could give, even if it wasn’t quite true. The babies I’ve lost were never born to become persons that I could get to know. But I carried them for months, I waited for them. They should be here now, but they’re not and I miss them. So it didn’t feel like telling a lie.
Also, if you say that somebody (a friend, not a baby) died, people usually don’t try to take your sorrow away from you. Nobody says: “It’s common to lose friends in your age!” or “You should be happy you can make friends, not everybody can!” or: “It is probably for the best, there was probably something wrong with your friend, he or she was not supposed to live, I’ve heard that is really common”.
The girl next to me picked up a packet of PK gum from her bag and gave it to me. She didn’t say anything, but when she got up to get off, she patted me on the back and said she would be praying for me.
That’s what you should do when somebody is grieving. Just give them some gum, let them cry, and give them an encouraging parting word.
You give yourself permission to grieve by recognizing the need for grieving. Grieving is the natural way of working through the loss of a love. [It] is not weakness nor absence of faith. Grieving is as natural as crying when you are hurt, sleeping when you are tired or sneezing when your nose itches. It is nature’s way of healing a broken heart. – Doug Manning