Losing a loved one changes your life forever. When someone you love has recently suffered a loss, you may not know how to offer comfort. This article highlights five ways to help a loved one struggling with loss.
1. Listen, don’t relate.
Sometimes the best thing you can offer someone struggling with loss is your ear. You should assure the person that you will listen if they ever want to talk. Do not force them or nudge them to talk. Instead, just assure them that you will listen.
When listening to them, do not try to relate to their experience. It is important to remember that everyone does not process loss in the same manner. So, when you listen, be impartial, empathetic, and kind.
2. Respect the person’s process.
There isn’t any right or wrong way to process grief. Some people grieve by remembering the good times they have spent with their loved ones. Others grieve by making gestures or openly talking. Throughout this, it is important to support and respect them.
Do not tell them they “should grieve” by doing something, such as visiting their grave, going to therapy, or any other method. Instead, respect them to understand what they want and give help every time they ask.
3. Do not pepper them with questions.
When you ask, “how are you?” they won’t always say, “I am not fine.” Instead, ask, “how are you feeling today” or “how are you feeling right now”? Accept their response, and do not pressure them to elaborate if they do not wish to.
Sometimes, your loved one may give the same answer to every question, or they may deflect it. If this happens, do not get upset. Instead, listen patiently and compassionately.
4. Give space and stay connected.
Sometimes your loved one may want to spend some time alone to process their feelings or memories. Adapting to normal life after suffering a loss is difficult. Therefore, allow them this space but stay connected.
Find a way to communicate that helps you keep in touch but gives them their space. For example, some people may find comfort in a simple text message, while others would want you to drop in. Find a method of communication that they are most comfortable with.
5. Offer assistance.
Sometimes when a loved one struggles with loss, everyday chores can become difficult. Instead of waiting for them to ask for help, ask them whether you can do any chores for them.
Planning a funeral can be a difficult task to manage when grieving. Offer your assistance in planning the funeral. If they refuse, offer assistance doing other household chores so that they can focus on making funeral arrangements. For example, you can offer to take care of their pets, do laundry, or grocery shopping. Simple chores like these can feel overwhelming.
If you want to know more ways you can help your loved one struggling with a loss, contact our experts at Found and Sons. Our expertise and insights can help you support your loved one through a difficult time.