‘Empathy…’ 

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Jacob’s empty size 13 shoes

 

Em-pa-thy ~ noun

‘The ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.’ As I look back over the past months since Jacob’s passing I can honestly say that my support circles showered me with empathy, choosing their words of comfort carefully. It helped to hear the phrases –

* I’m sorry for your loss

* You’re in my thoughts/thinking of you

* He was a beautiful person

* I will miss him

* This must be so hard for you

* I love you

* When your ready, I’d like to get together to catch up over a coffee and a chat

* Sharing a memory of him

These words tended to leave a bitter taste in your mouth –

* I know how you are feeling

* He’s in a better place

* How are you doing/holding up?

* Now you can start moving on in your life

* I don’t know what I’d do if my son died

* At least the death was quick so there wasn’t any pain/slow so you had a chance to say goodbye

* Don’t worry, you’ll feel better soon

Choose your words wisely x

Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgement, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘you’re not alone.’ I’m lucky that I’ve never felt alone through my grief – thanks to my support circles, thanks for helping me deal with with all. I hope you guys are in for the long haul as the grief will last my lifetime. It’s just a part of who I am now.

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Jacob filling his size 13 shoe in his favourite converse

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