To be resilient means to be able to bounce back from a difficult situation. When people hold the perception that another is strong, they also assume they are resilient and no matter what comes their way, the person is able to bounce back quickly from the situation. This skewed way of thinking is often directed at children following a loss. People say things like, “Children are resilient; he will get through this.” It is so unfair to play this card with anyone who has a broken heart regardless of their age!
You can be strong. You can be resilient. But a broken heart will bring you to your knees. It may not be in front of anyone, but it happens. Sometimes the person has never had any choice in life but to appear strong and unshaken no matter what boulders crashed in his or her way. Perhaps they are so overwhelmed that they don’t even know where to begin to express their feelings. Or maybe they appear strong because they don’t want to upset others. It doesn’t really matter. If someone you know has suffered a loss and you know they must be hurting, then trust your gut and do something to show them that you understand and that you will be there for them no matter what. And the best way is to start with a hug.