Everyone on earth has to deal with loss of a loved one, with some losing many, and many losing at least a parent or close friend. Regardless, you might find others who haven’t yet had much experience with loss. When it happens to them, it’s hard to place ourselves in their shoes, especially when it’s the death of someone virtually inseparable.
As a friend or family member, how can you reach out to this person to help them deal with a loss that was sudden and almost incomprehensible? Even in those who realize the realities of death, it’s a challenge to put it into perspective once it really happens.
The important thing is to put yourself in the role of the one dealing with the loss. This is the first step toward understanding grief and how it works with every human being.
Many people confuse grief with mourning, and they’re really quite different. When we mourn someone, we show outward emotion as a form of catharsis in dealing with losing loved ones. Grief is internal and based on more complex thoughts and feelings we have on how to process the passing of someone close.
Both are important for any person when dealing with death. The trouble is that society sometimes places stigma on grief as being weak-minded. Everyone needs to experience grief to fully comprehend their loss and find ways to deal with it. Whether it’s through personal religious belief, or support from loved ones, grief is a necessary journey we all need to go through for better mental health.
Without it, the person experiencing the loss could end up hurting their mental health. We all should take grief and use it to help live our life with more meaning.
With this understanding from your perspective, it’s time to use the right approaches to help your friend or relative deal with a recent loss.
An important element in helping someone deal with a loss is to become a good listener. Once someone loses an important person in their life, talking about the pain and processing it through words is essential to put it in the proper perspective. It’s vital you allow them to talk about it, no matter if they repeat themselves.
Basically, you need to act like a counselor who regularly listens to personal problems their clients go through. By showing you understand and care, you’ve already done a lot to help the person through their pain.
Understanding the uniqueness of a loss is another major step in helping someone through the ordeal. Death can come in ways that are more tragic than others, sometimes suddenly and violently. These are far more difficult to comprehend for family members, which requires special approaches to help them get through it.
Through the listening phase above, you can get a better idea of what the person is going through emotionally. This helps you enter a friend or family member’s feelings for full comprehension of their state of mind. Plus, it helps you find better ways to respond verbally rather than using overused phrases that sound rote.
Maybe you’ve helped your friend or relative through the funeral and initial grief stage, yet you shouldn’t walk away and assume the grieving is over. Feelings of grief will likely go on for months or years more, and this requires being there for support along the way.
Anniversaries and holidays will come up, bringing strong emotions. Offering practical help and even setting up memorials for the grieving person goes a long way in showing your personal respect.
Visit us at Fairmount Funeral Home and one of our family care providers will give you the help and support you need during this emotional time.