How to Support Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One
When someone you know has lost a loved one, it’s often hard to know what to say or do to help. You may want to support someone dealing with painful and intense emotions such as anger, sadness, and feelings of depression and isolation. Remember that you don’t need to have all the answers or say and do all the right things.
The most important thing you can do to support someone who is grieving is simply being there for them. Don’t let your fear of saying or doing the wrong thing prevent you from reaching out and being supportive. Your companionship and care can help someone cope with the pain and gradually begin the process of healing.
How Grief Works
Grief doesn’t always occur in a consistent, predictable way. People experience a variety of emotions and behave in different ways in response to loss. Some of us can obsess about the circumstances of the death, while others may cry for hours or become numb and appear disconnected.
Keep in mind that each of us grieves differently and try not to be judgemental when supporting someone. There is also no set time for how long the grieving process takes. It can range from a few months to several years.
How to Talk to Someone Grieving
It’s common to worry about what you should or shouldn’t say to a grieving person. However, what’s more, important is listening and taking cues from them. Don’t change the subject when the deceased person is mentioned. People need to feel their loss is real and acknowledged by others. Talking about it helps them heal and know that their loved one won’t be forgotten.
When someone expresses how they are feeling, avoid telling them what to do or how they should think. Validate their feelings and let them know you’re there for them. Depending on the time and place, that person might need a shoulder to cry on, someone to happily share memories with or may just want to sit in silence. Either way, simply being there and listening can be a big source of comfort.
Offer Practical Help
It can be hard for grieving people to ask for help out of guilt, a fear of being a burden, or feeling too depressed to reach out. You can help with specific, practical things, such as offering to:
- Shop for groceries or run errands
- Assist with funeral arrangements
- Help with housework, such as cooking and cleaning
- Watch their children or pick them up from school
- Take them out to lunch or a movie
- Share an activity such as a sport, game, or puzzle
- Drive them where they need to go
- Go with them to a support group meeting
Offer assistance consistently when you can as the grieving person may feel bad asking for help again.
Funeral Services in NSW
At Fry Bros Funerals, our compassionate funeral directors can provide you the support and guidance you need after a loved one passes away, including assistance arranging a funeral. Call us for services across Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and all surrounding areas on 02 4933 6155 or contact us online.