How can you provide comfort to someone who is grieving? It really isn’t complicated. However it requires you to invest in that person’s life. You need to be willing to spend some time and energy on them.
1) Stay in touch--
In the days following the funeral make an effort to write a note expressing sympathy. You can also call or drop by. Consider inviting them to go out for coffee. Ask them to go for a walk, or to come over your house.
2) Let them grieve—
Bereavement hurts. Allow the person their time of grief. They must go through this pain. If we pretend that all is okay we just delay healing. Join them in their sorrow.
3) Listen with love—
Let them talk, don’t judge their emotions. Often we don’t know what to say in sympathy. Most times it is not necessary to say much at all - just listen. By listening we offer much needed emotional support.
4) Accept them where they’re at –
Those grieving will be going the stages of bereavement. We must not censor how they feel. It is a process they must go through. We can help most by our acceptance of them and how they’re feeling.
5) Let them talk about the deceased –
Ask a leading question to let them know that it is okay for them to talk about their departed loved one with you. This is one of the greatest gifts that you can give your family member or friend.
6) Stick with them –
Grieving is not a quick and tidy process. Expect to be supportive for the long haul, without being impatient. If a death of an elderly person was expected, the bereavement process may take as little as 6 months. An unexpected or complicated death may take much longer to work through. So remain available to them no matter the time frame.
7) Be real –
People will be able to tell if you are sincere. Follow the “Golden Rule” – Treat others as you want to be treated. Find ways to support them that fit your own personality and the kind of relationship that you have always shared with them.
There is no magic bullet for grieving. It is a journey every person must make on their own. However having you supporting them will be a great help!
Making yourself available is the best gift that you could give another person!
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