Not Alaways.

We often say that those who have not been through this awful experience can never know how we feel, but is that entirely true? I have a friend in Australia which whom I talk. When I said I was going through a bad patch she wrote the following. She has not suffered any loss.

“Obviously I have never suffered a loss like you have and until I do I can never actually know what it’s like; but I do understand and get it. Oh John; it doesn’t matter how long it has been since Stella passed, of course you still miss her and you always will. It’s not something you just get over and I don’t think you ever ‘get over it’. Sure, it may ease with time and you may learn to cope with it better but it will always be there. There is no ‘getting over it’ or ‘moving on from it’ and I hate those phrases when it comes to someone suffering a loss. It doesn’t matter if it’s a year, two years or five years or more. A loss is a loss and grief is grief, there is no time frame. Everyone is different and people are going to deal with it differently. When someone is suffering a loss, that person needs Love, support, comfort and compassion. What isn’t needed are stupid, insensitive and heartless remarks from idiotic people who have no idea what they are talking about or what that person is going through”.

She is a lovely lady and has so much empathy. Blessings. John.

1 Like

She will have suffered some loss, surely? I am afraid I think I do think you have to go through an awful experience before you ever really get it. Either that or I have hung around the most awful heels on the planet and have the vilest relatives. ( Jury’s out ). You might have to number me among the heartless and insensitive people of whom your Australian friend speaks, but no. Nobody get’s it until they GET IT.


Some people I think are naturally Empathetic and just know what to say. What a lovely lady. I dread to think of some of the things I may have said in the past without realising it. I hope I haven’t. I always try and err on side of caution. But so hard when you have not experience it. However I too have had some lovely words from people that have not experienced loss. And some really crass remarks from people who should know better

Some people do. I probably have never had the good fortune to meet one, a naturally “empathetic person”. I have had a lot of experience with the other sort, sadly, and that might have coloured my view.

I think sometimes people get nervous and uncomfortable with what to say and blurt inappropriate stuff out. Then feel mortified afterwards. Then there are people who just like the sound of their own voice and love giving advice where it’s not wanted or appropriate

I was one of those awkward people. After all what can you say to someone who has lost a loved one?
The only person who i consider to be one of my close mates whose railed round me is the one who lost his Mum last year. I don’t blame my other mates. They just haven’t been there yet. I’ve only started posting today. I hope people have some good days coming up if you are in a bad place today.

Yeah. I can see that. But you must remember that some people are simply VILE. I was probably a bit harsh on @jonathan123. The kids these days might say " my bad", Poor kids. What a world.

Oh yes of course. There are vile people everywhere.

She sounds like a lovely friend and has said all the right things, but only someone who has been through a terrible loss can only get it. I have friends that don’t know what I’m feeling, but only my lovely friends I have met on here that have unfortunately experienced devastating loss can only know and get it. How can someone know the feelings until they experience it .


Yes. It is a truly exceptional human being who can “feel” for another. The dear friends we have on here and in the real world, should we be lucky enough to have them, try their best.


I agree with both you Steph and William, people can empathize with us but until they have experienced the pain and fear of the future we live with on a daily basis then they have no idea how we feel. I have a friend who’s husband left her years ago who really struggles with it and still sees a councillor. She persistently told me she knew how I was feeling because ‘loss is loss you see’ it wasn’t until I pointed out the obvious that she could see her Husband again but I don’t have that choice that she realised yes she could sympathize with me but never understand the way I feel. Until you have lived it you cannot comprehend what it is like, on here at least we are lucky enough to have met and made friends who we can share our journey with :blush:


Hi John
What a lovely friend and if she hasn’t experienced the devastation of loss then she is a very caring and understanding person. She has said all the right things with great empathy.
I shamefully admit I was of no use to people suffering from grief and my excuse was that I simply didn’t understand although I have lost all my near family and this lack of support and compassion is a deep regret to me. I hope I can make up for my selfishness now. I have had to learn the hard way.
Pat xxx

Really when you think about it, it’s like someone who’s never given birth saying that they know exactly how that feels :thinking:


Perfect analogy Steph :+1:


No, not at all Wil . Our perception of the world varies so much because we often see through other peoples eyes. Dad, mums, friends and teachers all play a part in out adult views, and it’s not until we question those views that we begin to become aware that they may not always be true.
Some people do have empathy. ‘The ability to enter into the suffering of another as if it were your own’ (Dictionary). I agree, they can maybe never feel the pain of such a close loss, but they do feel empathy. Not sympathy, that’s easy and so often insincere. Empathy is a different matter entirely.
Take care and very best wishes. John.

Well, it’s my misfortune perhaps that I have yet to meet one. And I may be confusing emp and symp. Dictionary definitions seem so irrelevant. I sort of chime in because people have been helpful to me in some ways in the couple of weeks I have been here. I should be better off keeping my mouth shut! If what I said I upset you in any way I do apologize. I hope you forgive me, but my experience of the people around me just now is nothing like as supportive as when they were in a shambles, and sometimes the urge to opinionate gets the better of me. It is just another unfairness heaped on another.

1 Like

Hi. Wil. What is there to forgive? You have said nothing out of place that I can see. We live in a world of opposites. Where there is good there will be bad. Some people have such ingrained beliefs, mostly from childhood, that they forget others may have different opinions. It is a fact that we are all in shock. When in shock we often say or do things we may regret after. But that’s no ones fault. Our emotions are all over the place. No, you would not be better keeping your mouth shut. This site is all about support and understanding. Your contributions are as welcome as anyone else’s.
In spite of our negative experiences there are some kind and understanding folk out there. I have met many of them and I am grateful for their support. Take care and come back and talk to us. Regards. John.

I think I have had my share of Vile! From the family members who have completely dishonoured my darling husbands memories ( even though he helped them unregardless) to so called “friends “ but that was
Him , saw the “best” in everyone :broken_heart::disappointed:

That is why I don’t really believe in counselling.You can’t teach someone a feeling they have never experienced.When I had counselling a few months ago I had waited over a year to hear the same old platitudes that most people think of at the drop of a hat. She was very kind of course and she listened to everything I said but she had no idea how I felt. I felt as though I knew exactly what she was going to say and she did, so it was pointless. On this forum I know that people really do have empathy because they have walked in my shoes. But the lady who wrote to Johnathan did a really good job of Trying to understand.


1 Like