Offering sympathy is not easy

  1. I am finishing my first year in an ADN program. The school that I attend is very stressful (we started with 80 in my class and we are now down to 45 students), and I just had an extra stress added onto my life. My only brother died one month ago from today. He was 22. I loved him dearly, and this was very unexpected. After the funeral, when I returned back to my classes, my fellow students acted as if they were scared to talk to me. I know death is not an easy topic...but it helps me to talk. I know that no one wanted to hurt me, or make me cry, but I hurt no matter what and it doesnt bother me to cry. I guess what I want to say is that "stuff" happens in school, be supportive. Dont just say "I'm sorry." "I dont want to upset you" Sympathy is not easy, but you have no idea how much it really means.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   scrubs70
    Quote from shannon8282
    I am finishing my first year in an ADN program. The school that I attend is very stressful (we started with 80 in my class and we are now down to 45 students), and I just had an extra stress added onto my life. My only brother died one month ago from today. He was 22. I loved him dearly, and this was very unexpected. After the funeral, when I returned back to my classes, my fellow students acted as if they were scared to talk to me. I know death is not an easy topic...but it helps me to talk. I know that no one wanted to hurt me, or make me cry, but I hurt no matter what and it doesnt bother me to cry. I guess what I want to say is that "stuff" happens in school, be supportive. Dont just say "I'm sorry." "I dont want to upset you" Sympathy is not easy, but you have no idea how much it really means.
    Hugs ((shannon)), Losing someone close is never easy and especially when they are so young. My condolences to you on the loss of your brother and keep your chin up.
  4. by   Energizer Bunny
    Shannon...talk away here hun. I am very, very sorry and will listen anytime you want to talk about it!!!!
  5. by   Pab_Meister
    Hi Shannon,

    I'm very sorry to hear about your brother.

    In regards to your fellow classmates, I can understand why they are not sure about what to say to you. I was once like that - if someone passed away, I had no idea what to say, and so I tended to avoid them or at least not talk about their loss with them. Then three years ago my father passed away. I remember how wonderful I thought the people were who offered their condolences. Now whenever someone passes away, and I have the opportunity, I always acknowledge the person's loss. It really makes a person feel good to know that their loved one was thought of so fondly.

    Don't be too hard on your classmates. It's very likely that many of them have never had a loved one pass away and are very unsure of what to say, and so say nothing.

    I am very sorry to hear about your brother. I'm sure he was very special to your family, and will be greatly missed. May God give you and your family strength to get through this.
  6. by   wonderbee
    Shannon, I so very well know what you are saying. My mom passed away during Spring break. Not one member of my clinical group gave me the support I needed except my instructor. People get weird. We get weird in our grief. Nurses are supposed to be compassionate sensitive people. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it?

    You can pm me any time you want to talk about this. As for me, I've been trying to suppress my grief until the end of the semester which is right around the corner. I haven't had time to work through this yet.
  7. by   scrubs70
    Quote from RNKittyKat
    Shannon, I so very well know what you are saying. My mom passed away during Spring break. Not one member of my clinical group gave me the support I needed except my instructor. People get weird. We get weird in our grief. Nurses are supposed to be compassionate sensitive people. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it?

    You can pm me any time you want to talk about this. As for me, I've been trying to suppress my grief until the end of the semester which is right around the corner. I haven't had time to work through this yet.
    Sorry to hear about your mother, my deepest sympathies ((hugs))
  8. by   RNSuzq1
    Quote from shannon8282
    My only brother died one month ago from today. He was 22. I loved him dearly, and this was very unexpected. After the funeral, when I returned back to my classes, my fellow students acted as if they were scared to talk to me. .
    Shannon,

    So very sorry for your loss. I know exactly what you're talking about. I've had several major losses in my life - 28 year old brother died in an auto accident and just the last few years I lost both of my parents. Those closest to me were very supportive, but I guess people at work and neighbors just didn't know what to say. Like you said, it seemed like they were scared to talk to me.

    Worst thing ever was when I had a miscarriage with our 2nd child. 3 of us at work were pregnant at the same time. I stayed out for a few days and you should have seen the looks on peoples faces when I went back to work.
    Most of them avoided me for a few days and I honestly felt like I had the plague. If someone had just come up and given me a hug - boy that would have meant the world to me. During the next 5 months everytime one of the other pregnant women would walk by my desk with their big bellies - people around me would hold their breath (I guess thinking I was going to lose it). As sad as I was about my loss and wished someone would have been kind enough to mention it when it happened - I was genuinely happy for the other 2 women. Even some of my friends and family members said nothing more than "it was meant to be". If I heard that one more time from someone, I was sure I was going to strangle them. It was still a child I lost and if they had only realized how much I wanted to talk about my very real loss, offer a shoulder to cry on, it would have meant so much and helped through all that pain, instead of crying about it by myself for months.

    After these horrible losses I've suffered through - anytime I know someone that has lost a relative or dear friend I always offer to talk to them about it, give them my shoulder, whatever they need. They can tell me they want to grieve in private, but at least I know I offered.

    If you want to talk about it, just let me know. Again, so very sorry for your great loss. SusanNC
  9. by   NurseWeasel
    ((hugs)) to you both! Why? Because every time a hug is shared, a heart is healed. May your hearts heal and your grief become less intense, and may your peace & happy memories return to comfort you.

    I understand your need to suppress your grief for now, but please remember that you must go through it... you can't go around it. Many blessings & hugs as you process your grief.

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