The Year of Grieving
Nov 15, 2016 by Victoria Noe
“I love you for my life, you are a friend of mine, and when my life is over, remember when we were together, we were alone and I was singing this song to you.” - Leon Russell (1942-2016)
It's been a hell of a year: Prince. Bowie. Natalie Cole. Alan Rickman. Pat Conroy. Leonard Cohen. Brian Bedford. Tammy Grimes. George Martin. Joe Garagiola. Patty Duke. Muhammad Ali. Gwen Ifill. Elie Wiesel. Gene Wilder. Edward Albee. Arnold Palmer. Robert Vaughn. And that's a partial list. I feel like I've been in mourning since New Year's Day, when Jo Stewart, the leader of my first writing group, died. And I guess that's true. The people on that list weren't friends. I have a letter from one who I dared to...
Policing the Grief Police
Apr 15, 2014 by Victoria Noe
A couple weeks ago we considered the Grief Police. They’re the people who are more than willing to tell you how to grieve the death of your friend. In fact, they’re probably telling you that you’re making too big a deal out of it.I asked what people want to hear when a friend dies. It’s not really that different than what anyone who’s grieving wants to hear: a simple “I’m sorry” or “I’m glad to listen if you want to talk about it.” But those comments require a certain amount of empathy, basic human compassion. And frankly, not everyone is capable of that.So, how to respond when someone says something stupid like “it’s not like they were family”? I suppose,...