Dear Community,

Lately, I’ve been wondering, how can we raise grief awareness? Specifically, how can we educate friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors about better ways of greeting a grieving person?

You’ve seen the colored ribbons promoting awareness and education about certain illnesses or causes. Pink for breast cancer, purple for Alzheimer’s, teal and purple for suicide prevention, and red for AIDS awareness.

During the Victorian era, people tied black crepe with white ribbons on their front door letting neighbors know the family was in mourning. Today people will wear a black armband signifying that the wearer is in mourning or wishes to identify with the commemoration of a family friend, comrade or team member who has died.

Let’s Start a Movement

Can we start a movement to change how we greet someone in grief? Instead of, “I am sorry for your loss.” They could begin to ask, “How’s Your Grief?”

What if you, a person feeling the pain of loss, were to wear a red question mark? People in your workplace and community would know to ask, “How’s your grief?”.

It sounds awkward right now. The verbiage is too long perhaps. Or just unfamiliar.

Yet, why not?

Each of us have tender times, days, weeks, and months. Wouldn’t it be simpler to pin on a red question mark as a reminder to those around us? Those who are aware and care, can remember to ask, “How’s your grief today?”.

The person asking would know that the higher the number, the higher your pain. They could simply be with you in the moment. Not afraid as they try to read your face, your body language, or your mood.

What are your thoughts about this idea? What suggestions do you have for raising awareness about how to communicate and support grieving people?

Please share in the comments below or send me an email.

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,