Supporting Someone who is Grieving

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2 years ago

Was someone who you know mourning a loss? Through bereavement, sorrow, and loss, learn what to say and how to console others.

How to support someone who’s grieving

It can be hard to know what to say or do when someone you care for is crying after a loss. With many strong and painful feelings, including depression, rage, remorse, and deep sorrow, the bereaved struggle. Sometimes, in their grief, they often feel isolated and alone, because extreme pain and complicated feelings can make it uncomfortable for people to provide help.

In such a stressful time, you may be afraid of intruding, doing the wrong thing or making your loved one feel any worse. Or maybe you find that there's nothing you can do to change things. Comprehensible, that is. But don't let discomfort stop you from reaching out to a grieving individual. Now, your loved one needs your help more than ever. You don't need to get replies or offer suggestions or say and do all the right things. For a grieving person, the most important thing you can do is to just be there. It is your encouragement and loving presence that will assist your loved one to deal with the pain and continue to recover gradually.

Understand the grieving process

The more you will be prepared to support a bereaved friend or family member, the better your comprehension of grief and how it is cured:

  • There is no correct or incorrect way of grieving. In orderly, consistent phases, grief does not always unfold. It can be an emotional rollercoaster, with highs, lows and losses that are unpredictable. Everyone grieves differently, so stop saying what they "should" feel or do to your loved one.

  • Grief can involve intense feelings and attitudes. It is normal to have feelings of guilt, rage, despair, and fear. A grieving person can scream to the sky, become obsessed with death, lash out at loved ones, or weep at the end for hours. Your loved one wants reassurance that normal is what they feel. Don't criticize them or personally take their responses to grief.

  • The timeline for grieving is not fixed. Recovery after bereavement takes 18 to 24 months for certain persons, but for some, the mourning period can be longer or shorter. Don't push or make your loved one feel like they've been grieving for too long to move on. The healing process will potentially be delayed by this.

Know what to say to someone who’s grieving

While many of us worry about what to say to a grieving person, listening is actually more important. Well-meaning individuals frequently avoid talking about death or altering the subject when the deceased person is listed. Or, recognizing that there is nothing they can say to make things better, they tend to totally ignore the weeping person.

But the bereaved need to feel like their suffering is understood, it's not too awful to speak about, and their loved one won't be forgotten. They may want to sob on your shoulder one day, they may want to talk another day, or they may want to sit in silence or share memories. You can take your cues from the weeping individual by being present and listening compassionately. A big source of relaxation and healing can be just sitting there and listening to them.

How to talk—and listen—to someone who’s grieving

Although you should never attempt to force others to open up, if they want to talk about their loss, it is important to let your mourning friend or loved one know you are there to listen. If the name of the deceased comes up, speak candidly about the individual who died and don't steer away from the subject. And when it seems fitting, without being nosy, ask sensitive questions that invite the grieving person to share their feelings freely. Just by saying, "Do you feel like speaking?" You are letting your loved one know you are happy to listen.

Also, you can:

  • Acknowledge the case. You might say something as simple as, for instance: "I heard your father died." You could demonstrate by using the word "died" that you are more open to talking about how the grieving person really feels.

  • Show concern for you. For instance: "I'm sorry to hear this happened to you."

  • Let the mourners speak about how their beloved man died. The story may need to be told over and over again by people who are mourning, often in minute detail. Patiently be. Repeating the story is a way for death to be processed and embraced. The pain lessens with each retelling. You're helping your loved one recover by listening gently and compassionately.

  • Tell how it feels for your loved one. The feelings of grief can easily shift, so don't presume that at any given moment you know how the bereaved person feels. If you have gone through a similar loss, if you think it will help, share your own experience. Know, however, that grief is an emotion that is deeply personal. No two people experience it exactly the same way, so don't pretend to "know" what the person is feeling or compare your sorrow to theirs. Again, instead, place the focus on listening, and ask your loved one to tell you how they feel.

  • Accept the emotions of your loved one. Let the weeping person know that crying in front of you, getting upset, or breaking down is okay. Don't try to argue with them on how they're going to feel or not. Grief is a highly emotional experience, so the bereaved ought to feel free to share their feelings without fear of judgement, argument, or criticism, no matter how irrational.

  • In your correspondence, be honest. Do not attempt to mitigate their loss, propose simplistic solutions, or provide unsolicited advice. "It's much better to just listen to your loved one or just admit: "I don't know what to say, but I want you to know that I care.

  • Be ready, in silence, to rest. Don't press if it doesn't make the grieving person feel like talking. Comfort for them also comes from simply being in your company. Only give eye contact, a squeeze of your hand, or a reassuring embrace if you can't think of what to say.

  • Give your help. Tell the crying person what you should do. Offer to assist with a particular job, such as assisting with funeral arrangements, or just being there to hang out with or as a shoulder to cry on.

Offer practical assistance

Many grieving individuals find it hard to ask for support. They may feel bad for having too much attention, fear being a burden to others, or they may just be too depressed to reach out. "A grieving person may not have the energy or motivation to call you when they need something, so make it easier for them by making specific suggestions instead of saying, "Let me know if there's something I can do, You might say, 'This afternoon, I'm going to the market. From there, what can I offer you? or "For dinner, I made beef stew." When am I allowed to come by and bring you some? ”

Try to be consistent with your offers of support if you are willing. The weeping person will know that for as long as it takes, you will be there and will look forward to your attentiveness without having to make the extra effort to inquire again and again.

There are several realistic ways you can assist a person who is grieving. You may send an offer to:

  • Shop or run errands for food.

  • Put a saucepan or other form of food away.

  • Support with plans for funerals.

  • To take phone calls and accept visitors, stay in your loved one's house.

  • Support with forms or bills for benefits.

  • Take care of housework, such as washing or cleaning.

  • Look at their kids, or pick them up at school.

  • Wherever they need to go, push your loved one.

  • Take care of your loved one's dogs.

  • Go with them to a meeting for a support group.

  • On a stroll, accompany them.

  • Bring them to lunch or to a movie.

  • Share a fun activity (sport, game, puzzle, art project).

Provide ongoing support

Even after the funeral is over and the cards and flowers have ended, your loved one will continue crying. The duration of the mourning process varies from individual to individual, but sometimes lasts much longer than most individuals anticipate. For months or even years, your bereaved friend or family member may need your help.

  • For the long run, continue your support. Keep in contact with the mourning person, checking in, stopping by, or sending letters or cards regularly. Your support is more important than ever after the funeral is over and the other mourners are gone, and the initial shock of the loss has worn off.

  • Don't make conclusions based on appearances from the outside. On the outside, the bereaved person can look good, although they suffer inside. Do not say things like "You are so powerful" or "You look so good." This puts pressure on the person to maintain appearances and to conceal their true feelings.

  • The pain of bereavement can never recover completely. Be mindful of the fact that life could never feel the same. You should not "get over" a loved one's death. The bereaved individual can learn to accept the loss. Over time, the pain can diminish in severity, but the sorrow may never go away fully.

  • On special days, provide extra support. Certain periods and days of the year would be especially painful for your friend or family member who is mourning. Holidays, family holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays also reawaken sorrow. On these times, be sensitive. Let the bereaved individual know that for whatever they need, you're there.

Watch for warning signs of depression

It is normal to feel sad, frustrated, isolated from others, or like they're going nuts for a grieving person. But if the symptoms of the bereaved person do not gradually begin to disappear or get worse over time, this can be a sign that normal grief, such as psychiatric depression, has grown into a more serious issue.

If you notice any of the following warning signs after the initial mourning period, particularly if it has been more than two months since the death, encourage the grieving individual to seek professional assistance.

  • Difficulty in everyday life to work.

  • Extreme emphasis on death.

  • Excessive resentment, annoyance, or remorse.

  • Disregarding personal hygiene.

  • Abuse of alcohol or narcotics.

  • Inability for life to enjoy.

  • With hallucinations.

  • Retracting from others.

  • Constant helpless thoughts.

  • Speaking about death or committing suicide.

As you do not want to be viewed as invasive, it can be tricky to put your concerns to the bereaved person. Instead of asking the person what to do, try to convey your own feelings: "I'm troubled by the fact that you're not sleeping, maybe you should look for help."

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Written by
2 years ago


Sometimes, those who lost a loved one can't easily move on, so they might mourn for a long time. We can show our support by listening to them even though they are juat saying the samw thing over and over again. It might be the only way for them to ease the sadness and pain.

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