Mourning the loss of a loved-one is difficult in itself, but feeling helpless about how to help a friend who is facing loss can be just as hard. Sometimes it’s the little things we do that count the most. Here are some simple ways you can help someone who’s grieving.
Listen-there’s no need to rush conversation and say things that don’t sound genuine or come natural. Although moments of silence can feel awkward, they don’t have to be. Let the person have a moment and they will speak when they are ready. Another common impulse we have when someone gets emotional is to try and change the subject or switch gears. Crying is a natural, healthy, part of processing grief. It is ok to allow this to happen. Encourage conversation about the person who’s passed, they are very much on the mind of the person you’re trying to support. Reminiscing about times they’ve shared together or particular things the person liked will bring on happy memories.
Don’t ask how you can help through this tough time-just do it. A person in mourning doesn’t want to feel like a burden to those around them and most likely won’t ask for help and support even though they need it. Step in, prepare a meal for the family, do laundry, or offer to pick the kids up from school. Think of essential tasks that can be handled easily. Overall, be honest. There is no “right” thing to say. If you find yourself at a loss for word simply state it-“I don’t know what to say.” There are in fact “wrong” things to say: “At least he/she isn’t suffering anymore.” “You should let your emotions out or it will get the best of you later.” “Be strong.” and “It’s been (a few months, a year, etc.) its time to move on.” are not encouraged.
Everyone grieves in their own ways and with time, eventually they should be able to move forward-when they are ready. If you or a loved-one are struggling with the loss of someone and need support, there is help. Call us today and ask to speak with our Bereavement Coordinator.