Supporting a person with a developmental disability to grieve is not a matter of coming alongside, but of remaining where we already were.
In my previous post I mentioned a man who recently died of COVID ... he was one of the first people I supported who did not use words to communicate, but clearly had much to say.
Because everyone experiences the loss. Everyone grieves. Whether you lived with the person, worked with the person, or knew them in passing, their departure leaves a hole in the community that is felt much farther than one might expect.
Every time someone dies we grieve. We mourn. We miss them. And then we move on. Because there’s someone else who needs that space, who needs that funding, who needs that support, who needs our focus.
It has been my responsibility and privilege to hold out hope with people who have struggled to hold it on their own. Offering light to one another must not overshadow the real pain that people experience, but small gestures and words of encouragement remind us that grief will not have the last word.