‘RHOBH:’ This Is What Grieving Friends Really Want to Hear After a Loss of a Loved One
During The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Lisa Vanderpump and Erika Girardi had an extremely tense exchange about a condolence message.
One thing is abundantly clear during the this season: Vanderpump is in deep and serious pain about the loss of her brother. Her usual, controlled disposition is uprooted. She cries and often seems rattled. Like many people, Vanderpump seems to be very uneasy in dealing with her grief.
Vanderpump is also someone who doesn’t like to talk about her emotions, which Kyle Richards has pointed out a few times during the season. Richards also said that Vanderpump seems so different this season too. So what happened between Vanderpump and Girardi? Plus, what do grieving friends really want to hear from their loved ones?
This is what Vanderpump was upset about
After her brother’s death, Vanderpump said she talked to friends. Also, others sent flowers. Girardi sent Vanderpump a handwritten note expressing her condolences.
During lunch on the beach, where the women were trying to “clear the air,” Vanderpump brought up how disappointed she was that Girardi just jotted down a few lines and just sent a note. Girardi seemed taken aback and then downright defensive.
Vanderpump seems to be emotional and Girardi becomes icy cold and even angry. Vanderpump says the card felt distant and she thought the women were closer. But like many people in similar situations, Girardi admitted she felt uncomfortable calling.
Vanderpump ends up comforting Girardi
Girardi’s card was very appropriate and she took a picture of it, which was shared during the episode. “Dear Lisa. Tom and I were saddened to hear of your brother Mark’s passing. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. Sincerest condolences.”
When Vanderpump realizes that Girardi becomes upset and angry, she reassures her she did nothing wrong. She reaches her hand across the table and Girardi reluctantly grasps it. She tells Girardi she loves her and the moment seems to pass.
Death changes your relationships
Grief is highly complex and can be extremely challenging to navigate. The grieving person may feel far from those who they considered to be their closest friends, Medium reports. “A lot of people can’t handle it when death rears its head. So many of my friends have disappeared,” Audrey Ewell wrote for Medium. Ewell found that” it’s actually normal to lose about 75% of one’s support network when an untimely death or serious illness occurs.”
According to the RHOBH cast, many of the ladies no longer speak to Vanderpump. They assert their distance is due to Dorit Kemsley’s botched adoption through Vanderpump Dogs. During the latest episode, cast member Lisa Rinna said Vanderpump tried to spread gossip by having her employees talk about the situation.
This is what grieving friends want you to do
While a condolence note is lovely, grieving friends really just need you to be present for them. “Don’t be one of the people who says ‘If there’s anything you need, just holler.’ It’s empty. We hear it as ‘I don’t know what to say and I’m not actually going to do anything or offer any real support.’ Trust me on this,” Ewell, who lost her partner wrote. “I attend a grief support group and we speak with derision of all the ex-friends who said to let them know if there was anything they could do — who then, themselves, did nothing.”
Also, don’t disappear from your friend’s life. Ewell wrote that just saying you are sorry and then retreating doesn’t really show support. “Be there. Keep reaching out. Call your friend once a week. Why not? Are you really too busy? Because trust me, they notice, and they either feel cared for or not. Better yet, see them in person.”
“When someone you care about experiences a loss it is important to stay in touch with them,” according to Sympathy Solutions. “Sending a sympathy card is a great and important way of showing your support but that individual or family will need you beyond the services.” Call your friend, offer to cook a meal or send a gift. But be present and remember that grief may linger for a very long time.
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