Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief. – Cicero

Having a friend around when grieving can be an immense help.

Having a friend around when grieving can be an immense help.

What does that mean?
This quote is attributed both to Cicero and as a Swedish Proverb. Not sure how those go together, but I have to agree with the idea. Having friends, and having them with me when I was in an intense emotional state has always been a help to me.

The quote talks about improving happiness by doubling our joy. When you do things which make you happy or joyful, do you usually want to be alone, or with others? Doesn’t the sharing of the joy make it that much better? And you can always talk with them again, afterwards, reliving the joy, which doubles it again, right?

The quote also talks about abating misery by dividing our grief. When you are stricken with grief, we usually want someone around to comfort us. Yes, sometimes we wish solitude for a time, but we usually go back to our friends, and divide the grief by supporting each-other. At least that has been my experience, does your differ appreciably?

Why is having friends while grieving important?  
While sometimes grief has no silver lining, there is usually some joy to be remembered, usually connected with the past. Having others around who also remember those days can help you multiply your remembrance of joy. They can also contribute their joyful moments as well. Even if no one else knew of a particular story, you can relive it in the telling, and include them in the joy of the moment.

Similarly, having friends around allows you to divide the sorrows and the grief. Mutual support in trying times allows each to take a turn at being the strong one, and helping the others. Conversely, it allows each to take a turn completely releasing their grief, knowing someone is there to help you back up if you should fall. It allows the natural ebb and flow of grief to occur, and the group to help hold it together.

The other thing that having others around helps with is the releasing of the grief. Grief shared tends to move forward with the grieving process. Grief kept within rarely progresses, and ends up festering deep within a person. Only by releasing the grief can the healing begin. At least that’s how it has worked for me.

Where can I apply this in my life?
This can, and I believe should be, done anytime you are deeply in sorrow or in grief. That could include any sort of loss, from the death of a pet to a stolen car. Obviously the death of a friend would qualify, and I believe the loss of a job would qualify as well, especially one you thought was a good fit for you.

Not that I’m trying to say that losing a job is the same as a friend dying. However, while the intensity may be at a different level, the basic process is the same. One of the more popular models is the Kübler Ross model. [][Five Stages of Grief] and at that link, you can find information on other models. See what works best for you, in your experience.

The Wikipedia page is a place to start looking at how it works, and local book stores will have plenty of ideas on how to handle grief. If you are away from your friends, you can probably find a support group in your area if you look around. Failing that, the phone, the internet, and other modern communication methods are a close second.

Using whatever method you can to connect to supportive friends in a time of great sadness or grief really helps. Think of the times you have grieved in the past, and how having friends around helped, compared to times when you either did not seek them out, or they were otherwise absent. Note that I said supportive friends, so don’t count the times when your friends weren’t supportive.

If you are like the people I have discussed this with, you can see where having others around to support you is a helpful thing in a trying time. In today’s world, even something as simple as texting some one some words of encouragement or support can make a difference. Sometimes, just the knowledge that someone else is supporting you, can really be helpful.

As life goes on, grief will find you. As will joy. Treat them the same way, and share them with your friends. I hope your experience is similar to mine, and the author of the quote, and that your joys multiply and your grief is divided.

Remember, grieving is a process, not a permanent state. Don’t let it freeze you in one place, and don’t try to hold it all in. Not for the big things, and especially not for the little things, for they will build up within you if you are not careful.

From: Twitter, @PhilosophyQuotz
confirmed at :
Photo by allspice1

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