Help for someone grieving a death
No matter how well you know someone, when grief overtakes that person due to a painful loss, you may not know what to say or do. Here are some suggestions: ❖ BE PRESENT AND LISTEN – Listening is one of the most important things you can do. Observe how your grieving loved one communicates through words and body language. Part of active listening is acknowledging the essence of what’s been said and then asking questions, if necessary, to clarify what’s behind a grieving person’s statements. Sometimes “listening” is done in silence. Just sitting and being with a grieving person may be comfort enough. ❖ SPEAK FROM THE HEART -- Doing so may help your loved one feel less alone in the loss. Don’t presume to know what a grieving person is experiencing. Instead, describe your own feelings and notice how the person responds. ❖ OFFER PRACTICAL HELP – Rather than making a general offer – such as “Let me know if there’s anything I can do” – be more specific. Ask what’s needed, or observe the situation and make a specific offer to help with practical needs, such as grocery shopping, household chores or errands. ❖ IF NECESSARY, ENCOURAGE GETTING HELP – An inability to interact with others or resume activities is an indicator that more support is needed. You might suggest seeing a primary doctor or possibly a therapist or psychiatrist. A person’s faith community may be another resource.