The Test: Someone very close to you or your partner passes away.
How To Pass It: If your partner is grieving, let them grieve in whatever way they need to grieve, even if it seems strange or doesn't make sense to you. People deal with death and sadness in extremely different ways, and no one can be sure of what form their grief will take until they're enveloped in the heart of it -- convulsing with sobs, screaming with rage, or perhaps just sitting very, very quietly.
A personal experience: Winona's boyfriend's estranged father died a few years into their relationship. In the aftermath of that gut-wrenching phone call, he felt a jumble of intense, confusing emotions ranging from deep sadness to anger. As a partner, Winona felt helpless. All she could do was hold him, listen, and offer very simple words of comfort and love. Looking back, that was enough. The lesson? Just be there. That's all you really can do, and that's all your partner needs.
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