1. Say I'm Sorry- This is an appropriate initial response to a grieving person. It is simple, it recognizes the person's loss, and it gives your condolences.
2. Smile or Give a Hug- Sometimes there are no words that can take away the hurt of a grieving person. Giving a caring, empathetic response such as a hug or a smile can be just what a grieving person needs when they are struggling with their loss.
3. Ask Permission- Ask a grieving person, is it okay to ask you How you are doing? Is it okay to mention your loved one who passed away? The grieving person may not be ready to talk. Asking their permission if it is okay, can help alleviate stress about knowing what not to say.
4. Be Available- You never know when a grieving person may need your listening ear or just to know you care. Being available when the grieving person needs you can help them tremendously.
5. Send Letters, cards, prayers, meals- At times others can feel helpless when a loved one is hurting. Sending encouraging messages whether via text, email, or letter, can be the encouragement they need to just get through the day. Letting them know you care can give the strength they need. Setting up a sign-up for meals is very helpful as well. A grieving person may not be able to tell you what they need. If you are a close friend start a meal sign-up and send to their families and friends so others can help by making meals. Sign-up genius is a good site for meal sign-ups.
1. Say Everything Happens for a Reason- Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a very painful process. Trying to justify the person's loss will not bring them closer to answers or bring their loved one back. Even though this may be said with the intent to help, don't try to make their loss make sense, just be there to support.
2. Say God has a plan we don't understand or He is in a better place- Even though this may be true, a newly grieving person is dealing with so many emotions that this statement will not give them peace, they just want their loved one back. Don't try to bring meaning or purpose to the loss by making statements of justification.
3. Ask is there anything I can do? Just do it. A grieving person has no idea what they need or how to delegate their needs to others when they are newly grieving. It is best to come together to make a sign-up to for meals, run an errand for them, or help around their house. This is the best way to help.
4. Fill silence with words if you don't know what to say- If you don't know what to say it is best not to say anything at all and just give a hug or a smile. Letting the grieving person know you care whether in person or a note can give them the best support that they need.
5. Say you need to let go or it's time to let go- It is not about letting go. It is about the grieving person learning how to accept the grief of the loss as a new part of their life. Everyone will grieve differently, there is not a standard time frame that a person will accept this new life. It is a process that will be for the rest of the person's life.
The grieving process can be a tricky process. Everyone grieves in their own way at their own pace. The best thing you could ever do for a grieving person is to shower them with love. If you are close with them, saying a simply "I love you" will help the most. I will be blogging over the next 5 weeks more tips for the grieving person, how to honor a loved one, ways men and women grieve differently, and ways to bring meaning a purpose to grief. Grieving is a hard painful process, but necessary to take the steps towards a healing process. There is not a standard set time that it takes a person to grieve. It is important to continue to live life and take the steps to be able to experience joy and happiness again.
Have a joyful day!