When we experience grief, those around us may not know how to support us. That’s why we compiled this list of some of our members’ favorite ways to get support. Feel free to share with your friends and family who may need a little help in knowing how to best support you.
First of all, it’s critical to understand that grief is a life-long process. It doesn’t go away. It’s something that someone will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Meaning, it’s not a “problem” to be fixed.
That can be a hard concept to grasp because it is so difficult to see someone in pain. Our immediate feeling is to want to make them feel better. And while you might be able to do this at some points in their journey with grief, know and accept that it’s okay that they are in the place that they are.
You can, however, make grief easier for them. Here are some tips:
Grief is a unique experience. You will surely experience grief in your lifetime, yet it will be different from others. Every relationship, no matter how similar, is unique to you and the person you share your connection with. So while it may be tempting to share your experience, choose instead to let them share what they are experiencing.
Don’t Push Faith
Faith can help tremendously during periods of grief. But, it doesn’t help everyone. So, while it may have helped you, don’t assume it will help the person you are trying to comfort. Chances are, they already know about your beliefs and if they want more information or for you to share how it helped you, they will ask.
Do Reach Out
Let them know that you are there. That you are sorry they have to go through this experience. Just the simple act of letting someone know that you are there – without pushing it – can be amazingly reassuring. So, send a text, leave a message or just simply tell them that you are here for them whenever they need you.
Listening is one of the most incredible support systems you can offer someone. Don’t judge, don’t offer input – just simply listen. Let them cry, let them tell their story. Then just reassure them that you are there. Opening this line of communication will let them know that you are a safe place for them to turn to during this overwhelming time.
Above all, remember that each situation is unique. Proceed through the process while being mindful and observing their response. Never underestimate the simplicity of just “being there” for someone. Oftentimes, you may assume that there are many people there for them, which just might not be true at all. Becoming a safe place for them during their journey can be the most valuable help you can offer.
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