I over heard someone,”I do not know what to say when I attend a funeral.What do I say to the family?  I cannot talk to them about their loved one who is no more,  can I?”

Many of us have this fear of facing the loved ones of the deceased . What do we tell them? What do we ask them? Do we talk about the soul that has departed? By doing so are we going to hurt them more? By not talking  are we not hurting them more? what is right?

Or are we so caught up in our grief that we are not ready to deal with the grief that overwhelms us when we are talking about the individual who is no more among us?

I was stumped when I met the brother of a friend who passed away a couple of years back. I felt very  uncomfortable. During the funeral we did not talk  much. After a few months he had come to my place for a get together.

I was confused. Do I avoid talking about his sister who played a major role in our lives? Could I ignore the major part in our lives? If I am going to talk about her is he going to break down? If I do not talk about her will I be an insensitive fool?

After a few awkward moments while I served him some snacks that I had prepared at home, I berated myself.That was a recipe that was taught to be by his sister.I swallowed the lump in my throat and blurted out ,You know your sister taught me to make this dish.” A range emotions slashed across his face: disbelief, anger, pain and finally tears. 

It was like a floodgate had opened. Both of us began to talk about her, recalling all the good times and bad times. We realised that though she was not there among us physically, through the memories we could keep her alive.

 The more we spoke about her the more our hearts became lighter and the feeling that though she was not there with us, she was not forgotten.The slow process of healing had started for the both of us.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you meet a bereaved person, talk to them about one positive thing that you can recall about the person whom they have lost. You will find that  you have lent a helping hand to them. You are helping them to heal.

Kavini