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Grief and the importance of listening to one another | Letters

Readers respond to Owen Jones’s moving piece about the death of his father

My heart goes out to Owen Jones on the death of his father (the death taboo leaves us trapped in grief, 12 May). His writing on the taboo surrounding death rings so true. I lost my husband to cancer last summer after three long years of illness, and my three grown-up children lost their beloved father. the searing sense of isolation and otherness started immediately with the terminal diagnosis. Invaluable kindness appeared from unexpected sources, but likewise previously reliable friends have disappointed in their inability to cope with our situation.

As Owen rightly points out, our success and strength in dEaling with terminal illness then grief is judged by how little emotion we display. Also, there is the irony of feeling responsible for not making others uncomfortable or uneasy. Bereavement is a puzzle as people tread gingerly round us, waiting for this delicate and intangible time to finish. But this is not an option for us – our lives and family dynamics have changed irreversibly.

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