Why are people so scared of grief?
Why are people so uncomfortable with other people’s pain; so much so that people would rather stay away than actually be there when you are hurting??
I’ve thought about this SO many times over the last five years. For the longest time I have done nothing but make excuses for people. But let’s get honest here…
When someone has a major loss in their life, shouldn’t people be around? Is it that person’s responsibility to reach out and try and get people to be there? Maybe the answer is yes, I don’t know. But you know what? I think that is not only wrong, but it flat out sucks!!!
Look, I get that people are uncomfortable with other people’s pain. I get that it’s easier for people to assume that the person has lots of people around them and tons of support. I get that it’s easier to just think, aren’t they over it already??
Guess what??? When someone suffers a life altering loss, they don’t expect you to have all the right answers. They don’t expect you to fix it. You don’t know what to say?? Let me help you… Just say something! You don’t know what to do?? Let me help you… Just show up!
And while I’m at it let me help you with one more thing…

We don’t get it over it; ever.


Published by Joni@GrieftoLife

Gotta love the 'About Me' sections of everything. I feel like I'm either in a one sided interview or trying to create a dating profile. "I like starry nights and long walks on the beach" Ha! All jokes aside, it is necessary to share your story. Especially in a place like this where you hope to reach people through your struggles. So here goes everything... Hi everyone 👋🏼 Grief is a journey, an ever changing and painful process. It can isolate you and make you feel more lonely than one could ever imagine. That is why I write and share my story. We need support. We need people that "get it." We need each other. I was married to the love of my life, just shy of 13 years. We went to school together, known him since elementary. He was my "boyfriend" in 5th grade. I even wrote "Joni Roberts" in my notebooks and cheered for him when he played basketball at recess 😂 We came back together when we went to the prom, as friends, our senior year in high school. That was in 1997. We started dating seriously in the summer of 1998. He asked me to be his wife in February of 1999. We said "I do" on October 2nd of the same year. We had our first child in October of 2000, our son. We had our daughter, 22 months later in August of 2002. In the time we were married, we went through more than most could go through in a lifetime. We never gave up on each other. In June of 2012, he and I were in a horrible car accident that claimed his life. In an instant, my entire world was shattered, leaving me a grieving single mother of two grieving children who are now teenagers. I'm walking day by day through life without the one that would be with me forever. I would have never imagined that this is where I would be in my life at 38 years old. But, I am doing everything I can to be strong, to raise our two children, to take this grief and use it to fuel the purpose for the rest of my days here on earth. ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME. Today: I am in the waiting room for my first neurologist appointment. It is in the same office as my surgeon from the accident. I'm sitting here remembering myself horribly hurt and in a wheelchair and I'm overwhelmed with feelings but mostly reflecting on how far I've come. I love and miss my best friend every single day. I'm positive that won't change until we are together again. I am choosing to try and live my life in a way that would honor him and make him proud. Living With Purpose.

32 thoughts on “just.show.up.

  1. Hi Joni I have to agree with what you said in this post. Grief should not make other people become strangers to those suffering grief. We should step forward just to be there as you pointed out. I look forward to reading more posts like this Joni. God bless you and your children and your husband in Heaven.

  2. Your points are well taken. People have a difficult time with their emotions and not know what do do when someone else in pain. Just show up or, being with, is good advice.

  3. It is important to be their for others wiping their pain away is for them to do but being their to help them through the days is what they need. So many do not understand how people react when in pain even when it is their friend, that is how much they know them. One of my friends externalises their pain by shouting whereas I internalise my pain. I often say to friends of my friend he is in pain you just have to understand him. They do not understand but when it is their pain they expect all the support and time in the world selfish really. Bless you dear take care. Your advice is great for those who are going through any kind of emotional pain. Keep putting the information out there eventually it will drop on someone’s ears.

  4. I say this every day. It’s on my posts too. I just. Sent a person I’ve never met that I became friendly with. A small gift to her home. It made her day. Her sons anniversary is tomorrow. I wrote in my card I will always show up for you

  5. If that isn’t the best advice, I don’t know what is. And please don’t assume that someone else will make the call, send the card, or do what you need to do! We are all better together than apart! 💖💖💖💖

  6. Remember not everyone handles their pain in the same way. I didn’t want people around because I don’t like to cry in public, I preferred to cry by myself in my house where no one could see. I’ve been through a lot in my life (abusive marriages, loss of my grandmother, my mother and my son) and being strong is something that gives me a feeling of some kind of control of it all. Do I fall apart? Of course I do. The public condolences just made me cry and I didn’t want to, not around them. I didn’t even want the hugs, because as I told my friend as she hugged me at my son’s viewing “you’re squeezing the tears out of me.” The best thing one of my best friends did (because she lives in another state) was to just write me a note and tell me how much she loved me and that her heart was breaking for me. It let me know she understood and I could cry where I was more comfortable, by myself.

    I guess it just helps to know the person who is grieving, do they want people around or would they rather spend the time alone? Most people go on how they would feel in the same position, tho not having suffered such a loss it’s just their best guess, Honestly I don’t think they are trying to ignore someone else’s pain, they just don’t want to make it worse. Like me, the person grieving might just want a note recognizing their pain but letting them deal with it in their own way. Sometimes it’s up to us to reach out to let them know what they can do to help us, ie: “I need to talk to someone can you come over for a little while, or tonight, I’d rather not be alone and we could just sit and talk or go for a walk, or a movie or dinner?” Rather than leaving them to guess what we are in need of emotionally. Who knows us better than we do? Sometimes there are people who are very good at empathy who will call sometimes reaching out to you to ask if there is something they can do, but not everyone has that mind set.

    And yea, some people do think we should be able to get over it, but like you said, we don’t. It catches us unaware sometimes and the pain is still there. It does get better, but it doesn’t go away. I feel more solace going to the Lord when I’m hurting and letting him comfort me. He lets me cry, but I know he’s there and it helps. He reminds me the parting is temporary and that I will see them again. I will add you to my prayers for peace and comfort. Peace my friend.

    1. Thank you so much for such a thought filled response. First, I’m so very sorry for your losses. I too went through several periods of time when I didn’t want to be around people. The whole point behind my statement, just show up, was don’t just leave that person’s life altogether. Too often people disappear from the life of someone who is grieving. The point is… do something, say something. Anything.
      Hugs 💗

    2. Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. To me, just showing up can mean a lot of things.
      Your last sentences ring so true to me. I honestly don’t know what I would do without having the Lord in my life through all of this.
      Hugs to you ♥️

  7. PREACH. I am with you 1000%. I KNOW people handle things differently. But when YOU are suffering a loss, those that love you should be able to step outside their comfort zone to be there for you. I lost my husband 10 months ago, and I lost so many friends with this loss that I felt I was being punished for something. Why should I lose anything more after all I’ve lost!

    But then something shifted in me. I realized that these losses were meant to be. I was GRATEFUL that my husband’s death cleared out the fakers and the takers and the shallow people. Yes, some of them broke my already broken heart – but where I am today is in a solid place surrounded by truly AUTHENTIC people who care about me. My whole life landscape is completely different now. I’ve made friends I never knew, and I’ve strengthened the relationships with people who truly showed me what a gift they are in my life.

    I also am a person who needs to be alone at times to deal with my pain. However, that’s for ME to say, not for others to assume.

    I can’t count, literally cannot count, how many of my “friends” waited months to reach out to me, and then said “I’m so sorry I haven’t been in touch. I just don’t know what to say.” And let me tell you, I had plenty to say but I decided they weren’t worth my precious energy. I got really good at the art of letting go. You can’t make someone love you. You can’t make them care or show up. And if you feel you have to, they aren’t worth it.

    I wish I knew what created the shift and allowed me to be grateful and get into a “good riddance” place, but it has served me well. I’m not detached. I love very strongly and deeply. But those that showed me they couldn’t get past their own stuff are gone from my life.

    Great post, Joni <3 I feel you and I see you and I hear you. <3

  8. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    “No matter the pain or suffering, it is always better if it’s a burden shared by two, instead of a weight carried by one alone”… (Larry “Dutch” Woller)

  9. Funny that you should post this today of all days, a couple I know have gone through this very thing with certain members of their family asking ‘aren’t they over it yet’ and abandoning them when they most need support. Today marks 11 years since their baby boy was born (he died five days later) and they’ve had to cut those family members and friends out of their lives because of how they were treated when their son died. It’s so sad, why can’t people just be there for someone in so much pain? I walked up to them at Christmas six months after his death and asked them how they were coping and my friend said, do you know, you’re the only person to ask us that question? Everyone else was too scared to deal with their pain on a day that should have been happy for them, but instead they were hurting. And being ignored didn’t help.

      1. Yeah it’s difficult to approach someone who is grieving and ask how they are. It’s virtually a minefield, really. But I couldn’t not, because they looked like they needed someone to just come and acknowledge that they were there despite not feeling particularly festive.

  10. Very few, or none, of us from any generation we’re ever taught how to just feel without overreacting and work thru any of our feelings/emotions by our parents or anyone, starting when we were Young. Any way we’ve dealt with so called unpleasant emotions is all learn by doing, make mistakes, read, learn, repeat. And unless we start teaching/helping each other, it will continue to get worse because more and more kids are having to raise themselves. Most kids haven’t been taught conflict resolution which is why so many handguns do the so called resolving. A sad state of affairs for this country.

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