Grief Takes Time
When a friend or a loved one loses someone important in their lives, we often feel helpless while they are grieving. This doesn’t have to be the case, of course, and there are plenty of things you can try helping someone else deal with grief.
Most often we feel like we have to deliver some sage advice that will wipe away their grief with a warm, soothing cloth, but in fact, grief takes time, no matter what you do. But you can certainly help someone understand that you’re there for them, and you can help lessen their grief with some well-thought out actions.
5 Ways to Help Someone Dealing With Grief
Being there for them is the very best thing you can do – but just being there is part of the process. Here are some other things you can do to lessen their pain.
Immediately Acknowledge Their Loss
Don’t wait too long to get in contact with your friend to let them know you how you found out, and that you care about them. They need to know they aren’t alone and that people are ready to help.
You also don’t want to try and change how the person feels or is grieving. Grieving is a personal issue, and we all might do it differently, so don’t try to change it.
Listen to Them More Than You Talk to Them
Our advice isn’t as valuable as what they’ll do for themselves by talking through the grief. You want them to talk about their loved one, including how they died. You need to listen with genuine interest and make sure they realize you want them to talk about it.
Psychologists explain that if the death was unexpected, possibly by an act of violence, it’s important to the person dealing with the loss to know that you are willing to hear about the horrible details. You obviously don’t need to be pushy, but let them know you’re willing. This would be a traumatic event for anyone, and they need to know they don’t have to go through this event alone.
Say the Right Things at the Right Time
It’s important to know that there is very little that you can say that will help the situation, but there are definitely plenty of things they can say that will hurt the situation. Don’t explain how their lost one might be in a better place, and don’t point out any “good” things that might come from their loss, like remarrying or insurance. Your good intentions will often result in a painfully insulting statement that just doesn’t need to be said.
This happens to also go along with what we said earlier – listen more than you talk.
Don’t Ask Them to Call You – Just Be There
A lot of times, we might tell them, “Let me know if you need anything,” but most people aren’t going to reach out like that because they’ll think they’re bothering them. They also don’t even know what they need right now, other than for a death to be undone. Tell them what you’re going to do – then do it. In other words, tell them, “I’m bringing you dinner Tuesday night and we can talk.” Or say something like, “I’m going to pick your kids up this week and take them to school, so don’t worry about that.” Then – make sure you do what you say!
Join Them For the Tough Tasks
Remember that in the first few days after someone has to deal with the loss of a loved one, there are several difficult tasks they have to accomplish in order for a funeral to happen. Rearrange your personal schedule so that you can join them to go shop for caskets or to look at different funeral homes. One especially difficult item someone will need to do is to pack up their loved one’s things. Ask them when you can help them, not if you can help them.
The Gardens of Boca Raton Cemetery and Funeral Services deals with grieving ones daily, and the people there are great advisors if you’re helping someone else deal with grief. They’ll also know all the tasks someone will need to accomplish before moving on can begin.