I don’t have the energy to educate friends and family about how to really support me. Am I normal?

Grief is a profoundly exhausting experience. Do you find yourself dealing with people, including people who love you dearly, who keeping doing or saying things that aren’t helpful, but you simply don’t have the energy to say so, let alone to try teaching them about what would actually help?

Feeling exhausted by trying to educate people about what does & doesn’t help is #perfectlynormal in grief.

Most people do have good intentions, it’s just that the stuff they do is unhelpful at best, and rude or dismissive at worst. They need a little help to know what’s actually helpful, otherwise how will things ever improve? But you’re grieving. It’s not like you have a lot of extra mental energy to educate people on how to truly support a grieving person. That’s so very normal. ⁣

This is especially true for BIPOC— all day, all the time. Trying to explain layer upon layer of loss is exhausting.

Supportive folks, for this post, I’m speaking specifically to grief related to death, but it is applicable to what’s unfolding in the world: if you want to know how to better support others, do some research on your own and come forward with tangible, practical things you might do for your friends-of-color during this time, rather than ask them to explain their experience. ⁣⁣

If you’re grieving or struggling with things, sometimes it makes it easier on you if you simply stop trying to explain. Or at least stop trying to explain to most people. The trick is deciding who warrants your time and energy.⁣

Once you’ve decided who deserves attention, the next step is helping them to help you–without adding more stress to your heart. There’s a whole chapter of my new grief journal, How to Carry What Can’t be Fixed, dedicated to helping you educate friends and family on how best to support you in your grief. While it’s true that some people can be utter jerks, most people really do want to help. When you don’t have the energy to educate well-meaning friends and family, the tools in this chapter can do it for you. Find it wherever you get your books.⁣

How about you? How do you decide who does and doesn’t merit educating about what helps you and what does not?⁣

Want to know if your grief is normal? Click here to read more #perfectlynormal posts.

flame-heart-100Wishing for some company inside your grief? Now, as always, the very best place I know to connect YOU with other grieving folks is inside the Writing Your Grief community. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there is always someone there: when you feel invisible inside your grief, these folks see you. Follow this link to join us. We’ve got room for you.