When we hear that someone we know has suffered a terrible loss, we immediately want to help. However, many of us don’t know what to say or do. Sometimes this results in saying nothing to the person at all. Below are twelve suggestions relating to how to support and help a grieving person in a constructive way during their time of need. Remember that grief is an intensely individual experience, so patience and understanding will go a long way.
- Acknowledge what happened and express your concern.
- Offer support. If you don’t know what to say, simply tell them you care.
- Accept and acknowledge their feelings.
- Be willing to sit in silence.
- Allow the mourner to talk about their loved one and how they died.
- Offer comfort and reassurance without minimizing the loss.
- Listen with compassion.
- Allow the grieving person to openly express themselves, but only if they want to.
- Continue the support for as long as the mourner needs.
- Be sensitive to the fact that life may never be the same again for them.
- Offer extra support on anniversary dates, birthdays, holidays and other special days.
- 12. Be proactive by offering to help the grieving person with day-to-day activities,
- Shopping for groceries, running errands, doing housework and laundry
- Helping with funeral arrangements
- Staying with them to take phone calls and receive guests and visitors
- Helping with insurance forms and billing issues
- Watching their children or picking them up for school
- Driving them where they need to go and looking after their pets
- Going with them to a support group or taking a walk with them
- Taking them to a lunch and movie
- Sharing a fun activity such as a sport, game, puzzle or art project
Remember that your support may be needed for months. Stay in touch and check in. Once the initial shock has worn off, your support will be even more important.
Polchinski Memorials’ compassion and sensitivity is well known throughout the tri-state area. We have been in business for decades, so we are able to give you the necessary and valuable advice and guidance for choosing the right memorial for your loved one. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of us have had the experience of watching someone we care about grappling with the grieving process. It can become challenging to comfort someone and come up with the perfect thing to say when you understand the depth of this individual’s unhappiness. There are three major therapies that address this situation and for someone who has been grieving for a long time, seeing a therapist or counselor may be the best way to proceed.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a psycho-social intervention that is the most widely used practice for improving mental health. CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognitions, e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes, and behaviors. When we fixate on thoughts about our loved one, we keep them alive in our minds. These ideas shut down the possibility of feeling better and assure us that we do not have to give up the deceased person. For many whose grief seems overwhelming, death signifies an end of life rather than a life change, an intolerable experience rather than one we should work through and manage, and a meaningless event rather than one that is full of meaning. Changing our irrational thoughts to rational thoughts takes the reality of the loss into full awareness.
Exposure Therapy: Sometimes people who are grieving exclude events from the past and thoughts about the future that do not include the person who has died. Exposure therapy exposes the grieving person to all the people and events that make up their lives. It’s important to mark out specific times just for grieving whenever possible. It’s also a good idea to remove reminders of the deceased person so you become able to break the habits that keep you stuck in the grieving process.
Meaning Therapy: The grief process forces us to make sense of the death through our existing understanding and beliefs about death. For example, you may believe that “God’s will” is the reason that the person is gone from your life. We can learn to live with the loss by deepening our understanding of life in its entirety, and realizing that going forward, you will need to stand on your own two feet without the benefit of your loved one’s physical presence.
If someone in your life is grieving, never tell them to ‘snap out of it.’ It takes time and skill, and sometimes the help of a mental health professional, to help them face their loss and learn to find hope for the future. Polchinski Memorials’ compassion and sensitivity is well known throughout the area. We have been in business for decades, so we are able to give you the valuable advice and guidance necessary for making the important decision of choosing the right memorial for your loved one. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at email@example.com.