The article was written by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman for the LA Times. Susan has recently created something called Ring Theory, to help us understand how best to support those going through a crisis. The essence is this: The person suffering most in the crisis is at the centre of the ring, and those closest to them are in the closest rings beside them. The less you know the person at the centre, the further out you are in the rings. If you are struggling with what is happening, and need to "kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, "Life is unfair"" you can only do this to people in rings further out than you. Don't dump it on the people who are in smaller rings and having a tougher time than you are. Dump it on the people further out, and provide only comfort to those further in.
|Ring Theory by Susan Silk|
I liked this as I read it, and it makes great sense. I intended to share it with my Facebook friends. And then I thought about me.
A while back I got a hug from a friend - a close friend of mine and close friend of Kent's. I had a tear or two, and then I found myself asking "do you miss him?" You see, noone really tells me they do. Noone tells me there is a huge hole in their life now he is gone, or that they cry about him, or that they think about him or that they get mad about him dying or.. anything. I suppose noone does because it is worse for me. My friends are kind and generous and sensitive and they want to take care of me. Doing any of the above would feel like dumping on me. But actually I would like to hear these things. The idea or impression that everyone else in this world has adjusted to Kent's death or moved on is a dreadful one. And no doubt an incorrect one. But I just never hear it. And generally that means he doesn't get talked about at all.
I don't need people to dump on me. But I need people to mourn with me. It may be a fine line, and some may wobble around the line. But that's OK with me, especially if we're crying together, instead of alone.