Losing a loved one is among the most difficult things to experience in life. It can be difficult to function in the most mundane of day-to-day activities during a time of grief. When supporting the grief of a loved one, it is natural to want to gravitate towards them in a way that may be interpreted as smothering or overbearing. Whether it is planning the service at the funeral home or helping with daily tasks, it is important to be helpful but not upsetting. The following are some ways to provide assistance to a friend or family member who is going through a loss:
While it is tempting to try to fill a void of silence with talk, it is crucial to take the time to listen. This is one of the best ways to be supportive. Even if this means sitting quietly at the table, it is a critical step for the healing process.
The urge to be at the beck and call of a friend or family member going through a loss can be overwhelming. It is important to be there when they need someone, but be certain to give him or her enough space to process their loss in solitude when they need it.
Support In Day-To-Day Activities
During a time of loss, it is difficult to focus on the daily needs of the family left behind. Often, bill paying, cleaning, errands, or preparing meals takes a back burner to the flow of emotions that are experienced. Taking the time to bring food, walk the dog, clean up the house, or fold the laundry are just a few supportive activities that can be very helpful during a difficult time.
Don’t Avoid The Topic
Losing someone is a very sad time in anyone’s life, but it is so important to remember to talk about him or her. Although it may cause some tears, speaking about the deceased can provide a wealth of healing. It can become a habit to stop talking about the departed for fear of upsetting those left behind. Instead, remember some special moments or memories that were experienced over the years. Honor those memories at the funeral home service as well. Instead of being sad about them being gone, celebrate their lives and all those cherished memories.
After months have gone by, it is important to remember that the healing may not be complete. Many people hurt for years when they lose a friend or family member. Some never get over it. If this is the case, try to uplift their spirits by encouraging them to go for a walk or out to dinner to help ease their hurt. Keep in mind that they may not yet be up for going out. If that is the case, continue to offer support from time to time. Eventually, they will appreciate the distraction.
When helping someone who is going through a loss, keep these tips in mind in order to be as helpful as possible. Whether it is at the funeral home or years down the road, make every attempt to be there when they need support.