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Advice to Those Who Would Offer Advice to Someone Who Grieves Instead of Consolation

  1. Don’t attempt to get between a person and her love. Love is infinite. You are not. You might get caught in the updraft.
  2. Never tell a person to put her griefs into proportion. Your proportions are not her proportions. Besides, love is never proportionate. You can’t take love’s measure. If you could, it wouldn’t be love.
  3. Don’t try to measure a person’s grief by the number of tears she shed. You can’t take the measure of another person’s grief either. Grief is like war. You can know how you get into it but you can never know how you’ll come out of it. No two people grieve the same way and there’s no right way to grieve. There are officially acceptable ways to grieve, but there’s no one right way for everyone. Don’t judge a person’s grief either. That’s the same as measuring. As a matter of fact, don’t judge other people unless that’s your profession or it’s a matter of life and death. Don’t do it if you don’t really need to. You’ll almost certainly be wrong in your judgement.
  4. Finally, don’t offer advice to someone who didn’t ask for it. Consolation may be given freely, even if it’s not accepted. Consolation is just compassion.

 

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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Filed under & Philosophy, Essays, Dilemmas, & Philosophy, Uncategorized