Helping a loved one through grief can often be extremely challenging – especially if you haven’t experienced something like that yourself. However, there are ways to do it with success, so keep on reading to find out how. Here are six important tips on how to help your loved one who grieves. Check them out and learn something new today!
Try your best to understand the grieving process
Understanding the grieving process is never easy – especially because there is no right or wrong way to grieve. This process doesn’t have foreseeable stages everyone has to go through. On the contrary, it’s an emotional rollercoaster that features unpredictable highs and lows. This is why you should be extra careful about it. Besides that, it’s a very personal process as well. Those who grieve know best how they feel, so no one has to right to tell them anything about that. Also, remember that grief may involve some extreme behaviors and emotions. Yes, sadness is the most prominent one, but there are also anger, fear, despair, and even guilt. Obsessing about death and yelling at loved ones is quite common among people who lost someone. Just bear that in mind, and it’ll help you understand the grieving process much better.
Find the right words to comfort your loved one
Knowing what to say in helping a loved one through grief can also be quite tricky, so be extremely careful. For example, many people tend to focus on positive things in their attempts to comfort people who grieve. Even though saying that people who are no longer with us were loved and that they lived fulfilled lives sounds good, the truth is that it doesn’t bring much comfort. Yes, celebrating someone’s life with positive words is considered kind and encouraging – but you must pick the right time. Apart from finding the right words, you should also learn to listen to your loved one who grieves. Also, you shouldn’t change the subject when the deceased person is mentioned. They need to know that their loss is acknowledged, so respect their need to talk about it.
Provide ongoing support
Supporting your loved one during difficult times can be done in numerous ways, and sympathy flowers are one of them. This is because flowers are a universal symbol of compassion and a tribute to life. Sending flowers has always been a good way to offer comfort and lift spirits, so make sure to opt for it in the first place. Your support is essential, especially once the initial shock caused by the loss wears off. Checking in with your loved one who grieves is crucial during this period, so don’t forget to give them a call at least once a week. Besides that, you should offer extra support on special days as well. For example, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and family milestones are very hard for people who grieve. This is exactly when you should let your loved one know that you’re there for them, no matter what they need.
Offer your help and practical assistance
Apart from emotional support, you should offer your help and practical assistance as well. This is vital simply because many grieving people find it very difficult to ask for help. Some don’t do it because they don’t want to be a burden to their friends and family members, whereas others are too depressed to ask for help. So, if you want to make it easier for them, be consistent with your offers of assistance. For example, shopping for groceries on their behalf is a good way to show your support. The same goes for taking care of their housework and for looking after their pet. You can also stay in their home to receive guests, take phone calls, and help them with funeral arrangements. Possibilities are truly limitless, so find the best way to help your loved one during these tough times, and you won’t make a mistake.
Don’t be sensationalist about it
Even though it probably sounds quite shocking, the truth is that many people seem to enjoy talking about bad news. They enjoy being shocked and feel the need to discuss every single detail about the tragic event, but you know what? You should avoid sensationalism of this kind at all costs while talking to a loved one who has recently lost someone. If you fail to do so, they may feel that you perceive their pain as gossip, which is the last thing you want. The wisest thing you may do is stop asking too many questions, no matter how curious you are. Such behavior is likely to bring more harm than good, so resist the urge to ask numerous questions.
Watch for symptoms of depression
When people are grieving, the feelings of depression and confusion are quite common during the whole process. However, if those feelings don’t start to fade over time, it may be a sign of clinical depression. This is a very serious problem that needs to be dealt with as soon as you notice the first symptoms. Some of the most common warning signs are difficulty functioning in everyday life, neglecting personal hygiene, staying away from people, alcohol or drug abuse, and many more. If you notice any of these in your loved one who grieves, make sure to take action immediately. Of course, be extra careful with that as you don’t want to be perceived as too invasive. Even if they get mad, they’ll eventually realize that all you did was for the sake of their health. That’s exactly what matters most, right?
As you can see, there are many great ways of helping a loved one through grief. So, if this is your main concern, all you have to do is follow our guidelines. This is particularly true if you’ve never experienced this on your own. Our tips will help you do it in an appropriate way. Just stick to them and you’ll do a great thing for your loved one who grieves!
Featured Photo by Josue Escoto on Unsplash