I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those who are coping with illness or loss. Please read this book! Below is a brief explination of Balcony people and Basement people.
Basement people are people who constantly pull you down or discourage you. Basement
people in our grieving process can and do cause us much hurt and distraction.
Basement people are the people who do not wish to hear about your loss, they do not
want to talk about your hurt or actively help you go through the grief process. Basement people are also people who say ugly or uneducated things about your loss such as “Aren’t you over that by now?” Basement people criticize your bereavement or question every method you chose in dealing with your loss. Basement people make everything about them and their feelings; disregarding the fact that it is your loved one who is ill or who has passed.
Basement people can cause a lot of hurt (often, unintended) to you during your bereavement process.
Balcony people are the people who pull you forward and along the road of grief. Balcony people come beside you and cry with you, spend time listening to you talk of your loved one and tell you stories they remember, too. Balcony people encourage you to seek ways to heal and process your loss. They understand that the way you chose to deal with the death of your beloved one may not be their way but it is what is good for you.
Balcony people understand when you do not want them around but stand by just in case you change your mind. Balcony people cook or clean for you because you just do not have the energy or they do not comment when the house is a little (or a lot) messier than it used to be.
Balcony people understand that you will never be the “old” you and help you
to find the “new” you who will emerge through the grief and loss you have sustained.
Take the time to identify the Balcony people and Basement people in your life. Spend
most of your time with the Balcony people and try to limit the time with Basement
people; if possible. Balcony people pull you up, cheer you on, encourage you and take
care of you when you most need it. Basement people pull you down, criticize and find
fault in what you do. Balcony people and Basement people; we all have them in our
lives. It is our choice of who we allow to be part of our bereavement process and our
lives. I choose my Balcony people.