Bereavement is a challenging process for everyone and one that affects each person in a slightly different way. Some lock themselves away in their thoughts, others escape to work and a few require a lot of support and conversations with their loved ones.
There is no single recipe for how to support someone who is grieving, but there are a few principles, developed by psychology experts, that are worth taking into account to help with the bereavement of your loved ones and friends. Today, we are talking about just that and hope to assist you help with the bereavement of your loved ones.
How to support someone who is grieving?
There is no single answer to this question. Everyone grieves in a different way and at a particular time, so it is useful to tailor your support to the person’s preferences. However, before you approach the person concerned, consider what you can offer the grieving person. Everyone’s talents and abilities are different, but so is the amount of time they can spare in a day. Therefore, it is worth considering what we can do so that we do not make promises that are impossible to fulfil.
How to support someone who is grieving ideas
To start with, think about whether any of the ideas given to help with bereavement suit you:
- You could support your loved one more in the practical activities of daily life – doing the shopping, laundry, keeping an eye on the bills, or driving them to medical appointments.
- You can offer your help in the form of talking, walking, or accompanying at emotionally difficult times.
- You can offer your help with official matters related to funerals, inheritances, and informing various institutions about a person’s death.
Sometimes our desire to help obscures the very object we want to help. However, if you want to help with bereavement, you need to be mindful of the needs of the bereaved person. Nurturing clear communication and asking your loved one what kind of help they are looking for is the primary way how to support someone who is grieving, so don’t forget to keep asking and offering.
Create a support network
Adequate support is crucial when helping an elderly bereaved person, especially with feelings of loneliness after the death of a husband or wife, but this can be too much of a mental burden or time-consuming for one person to provide. It is therefore worthwhile, together with the bereaved older person’s extended family and friends, to create a support network, where it is good to divide up tasks and agree on who will help and how.
Such a grid can be flexible and you can swap tasks or help each other to support the bereaved person so that the older person does not feel a burden and you can help them without sacrificing your professional and private life.
Stay in regular contact
Wondering how to comfort someone grieving? Firstly, let the grieving person know that you are close by and that they can count on you. Bereaved people often feel lonely and abandoned. On the one hand, because they have lost someone important. On the other hand, friends and family forget to speak to them over time. Therefore, make sure you keep in touch regularly.
It is important to remember that even if you speak up at the beginning, the bereaved person may forget about it completely. Not because it wasn’t important to her, but because she is in a huge crisis. She is at a point in her life where her life has completely changed and she needs time to put everything together.
It may also be that the bereaved person does not want contact at the time and needs to be alone. However, it is important to maintain contact, even if we think the person does not want it. It is always a good idea to call and ask “how can I help you?”, “is there anything I can do for you?” or simply take the initiative and offer specific help.
How to comfort someone grieving tips
Listening is often the best thing you can offer someone who is grieving. Assure that person that talking about their feelings, even negative ones, is accepted.
Respect the person’s way of experiencing grief
There is no right or wrong way to experience grief. Everyone experiences this time in their way, and you need to accept it.
Accept mood swings
The bereaved person experiences emotional ups and downs, so accept every sign of grief.
Do not give advice
Advice is usually well-intentioned but can make the bereaved person feel worse, so only give it when someone asks you for your suggestion.
Do not treat bereavement like an illness
Once the time has passed, you can encourage the bereaved person to return to their daily routines, such as inviting them to join a fitness class, or to the cinema.
How to support someone who is grieving – conclusion
Helping the grieving person comes in many forms, so adapt it to the needs and expectations of the person concerned, but don’t forget your mental resources.