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How to Support Someone Grieving a Loss

Nov 22, 2020

Ways To Show Sympathy After a Loss 

Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things a person could go through. When someone you love passes away, your whole world turns upside down. A good support system can be a huge help. It can be hard to be a supportive friend when someone you know is grieving. What are the right things to say? Which gestures are helpful, and which ones cross the line? You may not be able to end your loved one’s grief, but you can make their experience easier with tips like these.

Reach Out and Listen

A grieving person might not have the energy to reach out to someone, even when they need to talk. As a member of their support system, you should be the one reaching out. In order to make the most of your chat, don’t try to tell your loved one how you think they should feel. Instead, listen carefully to what they say. By feeling heard, your loved one will be absolved of some of their grief.

Help Them With Practical Tasks

When tragedy occurs, people tend to fall out of habits. Your grieving loved one may, for example, lose the motivation to cook or clean. Try lending a helping hand in these areas, but try not to be patronizing.

Give Them Flowers

It’s common to give someone flowers and a handwritten card when they are experiencing grief. Some flowers have symbolic meanings in the context of grief. Red roses symbolize love and respect, pink roses symbolize appreciation, and white and yellow roses are often associated with remembrance.

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Participate

Wakes and funerals are the most common grief-related ceremonies, but a grieving person may be compelled to organize other commemorative events. If the person who passed away was dedicated to a particular cause, a ceremonious fundraiser may be held, for example. Make sure to participate in these events as much as possible. This will help show support to those in grief, and it will help preserve the lost one’s memory.

Understand That You Can’t Change How They Feel

When talking to someone who is grieving, don’t try to talk them into feeling differently. Grief is often too powerful to be shrugged off after a conversation. Instead, remind your loved ones that their honest feelings are valid.

Be Patient

Some people come out of grief fairly quickly, while others battle these feelings for the rest of their life. As a supportive friend, don’t try to rush your loved one through the grief process. Instead, remind your loved one to take as much time as they need to grieve.

Take Note of Difficult Days

Recovery from grief is not always linear. Sometimes, particular dates, like the anniversary of the passing, can trigger complex emotions. Make sure to be available on dates like these, so your loved one will have access to support.

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