Health care. Emotional expressions

December 20th, 2011 → 12:14 pm @

I was lying in bed this morning and remembered a friend of mine, Steve, who has 2 sons and 2 daughters and from them 5 grandchildren. He really loves them all so much.

As Steve is now well and truly a grandfather of mature age, he has become also quite emotional and cannot go to funerals any more. They upset him too much and I can understand that. At funerals, they always drag out the tears with emotional statements and music, which in my opinion is totally unnecessary. In stead of remembering the diseased person for the joyful and happy character he/she was, instead of harping over the fact we are going to miss them so much, bla-bla-bla, we should be happy and celebrate the fact, we have known them happily for years.

It is often the expressions that are used that can upset the living partner, father, mother etc. and when taken literally, they get extremely upset.

The persons expressing themselves do not mean to be so crude, but it can come out very harsh to those who are affected.

Steve lost his eldest son one day, totally unexpected. This man at the age of 33, fell out of his bed in the morning and died there and then. He did not hit his head on anything, it was a carpeted floor, he was strong and fit, just out of the army, where he was toughened up and there was no reason, why he should have died. The authorities could not find any cause for his death, after days of checking for one. This was a strange case alright. Naturally Steve was heartbroken and suffered a great deal, especially at his age. He was not a well man anyway and this event did not do him any good.

What upsets him mostly, when people come up to him and say:”I know how you feel.”
Unless you have had something like this happen to yourself, YOU DO NOT HAVE A CLUE how he feels and he gets into a real rage and says:”You don’t know!” He translates the expression above literally and he cannot understand that this expression is just what people say at times like this. Maybe we should be much more aware of the feelings of people , when they are emotionally upset like in Steve’s case and say something like:” You must be devastated and I would not know what to say to console you.”

Try and remember the feelings of a person in need of compassion and take your time to find the right words to say. Wait a little while and think what the person would like to hear at a time like his. It is very difficult to know what to say and every case is different. Sometimes it is better not to speak words at all and just put your arms around them and hold them tight, Let them FEEL your concern through love, which is often better expressed by touch. I remember a case when I was late at a funerals service and stood in the back of the chapel, next to a lady, who was also a little late. During the service, she started to shake and cry. Even though I did not know her at all, I put my arm around her shoulder and held her firmly for the rest of the service. When all was over and she could talk to me, she said:”That was so nice of you, as I really needed that, I am the nurse who nursed her for the last few months of her life and we became very close.” This diseased lady died from cancer and in the end she died very suddenly at a very young age.

I did not say anything and just held her tight. She could cry and let her emotions out, knowing it was alright, because I was there for her at the time. You see what I mean, there are times when we have to react with feelings, not words.

Another expression comes to mind, not so much an emotional expression, but a saying that is used by sensationalism in the press, especially on TV. When there is a disaster, say the earthquake in Christchurch in New Zealand recently or the one in Japan together with the tsunami and all its aftermath, the reporters, usually younger people, may use the expression:”… is like a WAR ZONE…”. Now these people usually have not seen a war zone devastated area in their life and here they claim the area to be like one. Maybe they compare the area with pictures they have seen on TV or whatever, but it is all sensationalism that they are trying to create.

Be careful in what you say and how you express yourself, as it may hurt someone. I know you mean well, but like in Steve’s case, he gets really upset when someone says these words described above. Take your time and wait, rather than be too quick off the mark and say the wrong thing.

I am learning all the time and hope to be better each day as well. I used to blab out some beauties sometime and hurt people. I have learned, I hope? Love you, Shanti.


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