A note from Brad…
You might find this an unusual topic for a financial advisor to discuss. You might even say I have outrun my headlights. Let me try to redeem myself on both counts. I’m thinking of grief two different ways. Unfortunately, the first is common in our business, the death of a client leaving behind a grieving family. The second is how we feel about life right now and how the shutdown and virus issues have us all a little edgy right now. We feel like we are losing our sense of community.
Back to the issue of grief related to death. We often see a client just days after they have services for their loved ones passing. These are never easy conversations. While we are not professional counselors, please allow me to share a few things I have learned. It does not matter the relationship with the one who died. We hurt; we grieve. We long for the company of one that is gone. I have seen a client do amazingly well then fall apart at a special date or some other unexpected emotional trigger.
What is our advice for grieving clients? Don’t rush the grieving process. Allow it to unfold naturally for you. Everyone grieves differently and at different speeds. You do not “get over it”, you learn to move on. Some days you will make good progress, some days you will barely move, and occasionally you will go in circles and make no progress at all. Just keep moving. We try to help these clients move through the business side of the problem and so we artificially provide a timeline, a process if you will.
How about our reactions to the shutdowns and COVID-19? Do you feel a little more edgy than normal? How about angry? Could it be grief? Perhaps we have lost our sense of normalcy, our peace, our routine. Sometimes we may wonder if we are losing our society and all that is good in it. Certainly, this has brought out the worst in some people, but stress always does. Maybe this is our opportunity to show a little unexpected love in an unexpected time or place. My pastor calls this grace.
I think about our service providers, waitresses, barbers, hair salons, etc. Unfortunately, with my schedule and travel, I eat out too often. I tend to notice wait staff. I’m boring; I tend to frequent the same restaurants repeatedly and I have favorite servers at most of them. Often, I do not even know their name and they do not know mine. Leave an extra dollar or two. Maybe a kind word. They have a hard job.
Regardless of what we think of our politicians right now, don’t worry. There is an election coming and we will soon have another crop of self-serving politicians to make jokes about. For now though, let’s be more concerned about ourselves, our families, our friends, and our communities. Grief is real but so is grace. Let’s strive for compassion and patience with others, and most importantly, with ourselves.
Take care my friends and let’s all keep moving.