When a person you love is dealing with a loss, the most important
thing you can do to help them through the grieving process is to accept
that everyone grieves differently, and that there is no right or wrong
way to grieve. Everyone handles death in different ways. Some people
cry, while others hold it all in. No matter how they choose to express
what they are feeling, itís important to make yourself available to
them- whether itís a shoulder to cry on, a ear to listen, or just to
help them take their mind off of things. Here are some suggestions to
help you be a better friend, daughter, brother, or colleague to someone
who is hurting.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO
Above all, let the grieving person freely express the emotions that
they are feeling. Let them cry, yell, or complain, or just let them talk
for endless hours about how much they loved their best friend. Listen
contently. But, do not judge and do not freely offer up advice unless
you are asked. Find opportunities to focus on happier times. Share
stories that brought them joy and happiness. Recount old times.
Finding opportunities to help them focus on the happier memories will
act as filter to process the emotions that they are feeling.
What else should you do to comfort a grieving friend or family
member? Go over to their home and cook dinner for them. Cook a large
meal that it can be eaten for several nights. Either cook the meal there
or cook it at home and take it over. Serve the meal to the friend or
family member to make sure that they eat. And, if you are able, stay
and eat with them. Eating alone can be a painful reminder of their
Clean their home. Many times, when someone has lost someone they
love, they stop functioning for awhile. Do some laundry, clean the
kitchen, or take out the trash. Make things look a little brighter and
nicer, and smelling better. Bring in a new plant to spruce things up.
the grieving person is willing, get them out of the house. Home can be a
constant reminder of their loved one. Get them out by going for a walk,
to a movie, or to a restaurant. Creating a new routine can help bring a
new sense of normalcy into their lives.
All it really takes to help a grieving person is a little understanding, compassion and kindness.