Dealing with profound grief is one of the most challenging processes anyone can endure. And people go about this in very different ways. Sometimes the pain is so great that people do feel a need for solitude. Perhaps, for a time, solitude heals, but prolonged aloneness can also destroy. Sometimes situations arise when friends and family must almost force themselves upon a grieving person, drawing them back into the wider world. I think the bereaved must learn to strike a balance between time alone and time with loved ones. As friends and family, we must be sensitive to their needs and allow them the necessary time and space to come to terms with their new life situation. Our friend Mark, run over while riding his motorcycle, now faces life as a paraplegic. His entire existence has changed. Hundreds of friends and family members have rallied to his aid, donating time, money, construction skills to renovate his house, whatever he needs. But, I know that sometimes he can be overwhelmed by too many people and he needs quiet moments to ponder and reflect on what it all means for his family and their future.
Another friend, Roddy, lost his wife. She was only 59. He must be terribly lonely, and yet, constantly filling his house with people and noise is not precisely what he needs 24/7 either.