Grieving seems tougher with outside help
Dear Amy: I recently lost my dad to a quick battle with cancer.
I'm two weeks out since his passing and have been dealing with the grief and aftermath of his death.
While my family and friends have been extremely supportive, I've also noticed that a lot of them turn to me to talk about their own grief and other issues (like losing their own family members, pets, and general life grievances.)
My dad's sister is also constantly texting my mom and me about how sad she is with his loss. Then she asks how we're doing, which can be a bit exhausting. While I would normally be happy to be a shoulder to cry on, right now it just feels like too much and restarts my own grieving.
I recently had a dream where I thought he was still alive. I had to remind myself that he was gone.
I don't know if maybe that's pretty normal with such a serious loss, but it hurts deeply and makes it difficult to do regular things (like work).
Is there a way to kindly tell my loved ones that while I'm sorry for their loss/pain, it's just too hard a time right now to hear more sadness? I feel bad as they have really helped me, but it's just made life harder while things are so fresh. Your advice?
-- A from Minnesota
Dear A: I'm so sorry you are going through this. I'm further sorry that people are behaving the way we humans commonly behave, when we attempt to communicate and relate, but instead seem to make everything about us.
Well-meaning people are trying to say, "I understand. I relate. I'm with you." Unfortunately, it is coming out like: "Losing my cat was just like you losing your dad."