How to Help Someone Who Is Grieving

February 13, 2019 11:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When someone has experienced a loss, it can be difficult to know how best to support them. Many people are understandably afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, or feeling like they’re intruding on the other person in their time of grief. It’s also understandable to think there’s little you can do or say that will make things better.

Still, there are some small ways you can help someone who is grieving. Here are some tips from our funeral home in Lake City, FL.

Understand the grieving process

Before you say or do anything, it’s important to understand the concept of grief and how people experience it.

First, understand that there is no “right way” to grieve—everyone experiences loss differently. Nobody “should” be feeling or responding in any particular way. For some people, grief may involve extreme emotions or behaviors, such as feelings of anger, guilt, despair or fear. A grieving person may lash out at loved ones, or cry inconsolably. For others, the grieving is much more hidden, and one might not be able to see just how much they are hurting.

Second, understand that the timetable for grieving varies for everyone. The process may take a couple years for some, or longer (or shorter) for others. Never, ever pressure someone to “move on,” or attempt to make them feel like they’ve been grieving too long. This can make them feel more guilt, and may even extend their grieving process.

What to say

It can be difficult to know exactly what to say when a friend or loved one has experienced a loss. Invite them to be open with their feelings. “Do you feel like talking?” can be a good way to begin a conversation. Express your concern and condolences politely, and ask how they feel. Never attempt to compare their situation to a loss you’ve suffered—focus on listening to them, rather than trying to make the situation about your own experiences.

It’s okay to admit to your friend or loved one that you do not know what to say. Sometimes, even sitting in silence together can be a good way of showing support. But do let them know that you’re willing to provide whatever support they need. Ask what you can do for them, rather than telling them to reach out if they need anything.

Never say things such as “it’s part of God’s plan,” “you have so much to be thankful for,” “he/she’s in a better place” or any statements that start with “you should.”

Provide ongoing support and assistance

There are many practical ways you can support a grieving person, including taking care of chores or errands, offering to make them a meal, taking care of their pets, etc. You should also continue providing support to your friend long after the funeral is over—this is when the loneliness can really set in, and when they need support the most. Watch for signs of depression and encourage them to seek professional help if you notice symptoms of it.

For more information about how you can help a grieving person, contact ICS Cremation & Funeral Home or pay a visit to our funeral home in Lake City, FL today.

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