In the novel, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides , a young woman has run away from home. She reports that her parents wait by the phone to get word of her, but they are afraid that they might hear that she has died. They are ambivalent about picking up the phone because "ignorance seemed preferable to grief."
There are times in our lives that knowing the truth about an ending is difficult to hear. We need some protection from the truth because once we know that loss is real, we have to grieve. And grieving is hard. It takes lots of work and exhausts us. Learning to live without someone or something that has been important to our self-understanding requires attention and internal negotiation to determine how to live a new way.
Sanctuary is important. Each of us has to deal with the truth in our own time and our own way. Denial may not be a healthy way to deal with endings, but it can be a safe place to retreat to at times. To consider all the implications of a significant loss takes time and strength. We need spaces in our lives when we can breath and rest. The unrelenting truth of loss can wear us down unless we have space where we can rest and renew our strength.
If you know someone who struggles to deal with the end of the way the world was, be graceful with them. Know that sometimes they need to just be held and not wrestle with reality all the time. Be a sanctuary for them and allow your presence to be a sabbath space. They will return to the struggle with truth when they have the strength.