There is no "right way" to grieve!
Last week you learned that Anne's youngest brother, Hugh, had died. We asked your indulgence as Anne was not up to a story.
Much has happened over the past week and I found Anne looking out the window. A single tear found its way down her cheek and I debated whether to excuse myself, but Anne turned around and invited me to sit.
She sat too and took a moment to compose herself.
"People can be so unkind to each other, especially when they are hurting. For example, my sister just told me that I didn't know Hugh. One of my other brothers declared that this was not a convenient time for Hugh to die. My niece stated that Hugh drank himself to death; might as well have committed suicide.
"I know there are phases of grief that people go through ...
"We all need to give each other the benefit of the doubt and the room to make their own decisions. This is a time to ooze kindness and forgive each other for current and bygone hurts.
"I have observed and experienced angry, hurtful behavior at the time of funerals. Guests who had been close with the deceased were uninvited, treated rudely, and even ejected from the service because someone couldn't stand to see them.
"I have received a loud and public bawling out for providing flowers, as a member of the family, when I was an in-law (and not a real family member), and I have been told that if all I can say is "I'm sorry for your loss", I shouldn't bother to say anything at all.
"I have observed the breaking of relationships and the mending of relationships - particularly with family members.
"I have seen hysterical wailing and crying, and I have seen silent prayers too,
"And, it's all OK.
"However, it would be really great if everyone could be kind to each other, as we are all working through our personal grieving.
"Don't judge, don't take offense, forgive; don't even bother to remember what happened."