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Say Their Name, Say Their Name

There are a couple of popular songs titled "Say My Name". Our name is a large part of our identity and when people use our name as they speak to us, it becomes more personal. We always are appreciative when people that we meet remember our names.

So why do many of us stop using the name of the deceased when we talk to a grieving spouse, parent, or friend about their loved one after the funeral is over? One reason is that it can be uncomfortable for us to know how to talk with them. Our interaction with them may feel awkward now. We sometimes mistakenly wonder if we will cause them pain if we bring up their loved one's name in conversation, and so we don't. But, if we have been through the loss of a loved one ourselves, we know that we don't forget about our loved one because others don't speak about them. In fact, if your loss is a significant one, your loved one likely is on your mind all the time. And so, others cannot "remind" you of your loss by saying their name. You cannot cause another to remember when they already always remember. The reality is that when you speak their name and share stories or memories it almost always helps the grieving person, as they know that they are not alone in their thoughts and remembrances of their loved one. It likely will lift their spirits to realize that their loved one mattered to you and that you have not forgotten them. It may be as simple as saying "I was just thinking about (name) the other day."

Even if a grieving person does shed some tears as you speak of their loved one, it will still be a comfort to them that you remember, especially as the months and years go by after the death and it often seems as if others have forgotten your loved one. You can almost never go wrong if you Say Their Name!

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