What do one say? What do one do? How can you console someone who just lost a mother?
Here the “African approach” is quite different from the “European approach”…From my experience we in Europe tend to say a lot of things, like “how do you feel?”, or “maybe it was for the best, now she’s not suffering anymore” etc, but then we don’t know what to do. I have heard that you are supposed to bring food to the mourning, but I have never done so myself. And when I don’t know what to do, I have preferred to just stay away.
The way however my African fiance delt with it was to drive over and pick our friend up. WE PICKED OUR FRIEND UP. We talked, headed to a restaurant and basically just hung out. WE WERE THERE. We talked a bit about the last visit to the mother, her sickness and how the other siblings had reacted, but we also discussed fotball and mean ex-es (see last blog post). WE DISCUSSED FOTBALL!
I still don’t know what to say to a person who just lost someone, but I know for sure that to come close and then just be there, was the best thing we could have done while figuring out “what to do”.
In the picture two Chinese dragonflies are there in our garden.