I thought I could add some more details about how to help someone who is grieving. In my research I found a very good website. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief-loss/supporting-a-grieving-person.htm
Many of the tips I touched on last time about how grief come in waves and that people need to be able to express their grief in their own time and way was reiterated, but here are four helpful tips to add to the previous information.
1. Listen with compassion
It is often when trying to comfort, the words just do not seem to come easily, and I am often concerned that the intention of the words I finally do say may be misinterpreted. This article says that the words are not as important as being there to listen or just sit silently. Give an open invitation to speak on the subject and let your friends talk or not talk about the death that has occurred. Let them know that the opportunity is always available to bring up and talk about death and the grief they feel. It is not going to be a one time, “We had the talk, and now it is complete.” Let them know that what they are feeling is okay, and you are there to help them. Do not try to minimize their feelings or the magnitude of their loss. You also need to realize that their emotions may be expressed in anger, sadness, depression, guilt. They may bounce from all of these emotions in one conversation. It may be that they lash out at you because you are there. Do not judge them or take their words or actions personally.
2. Offer practical assistance
I had stated some things in my last post, but on this website they have a great list of things you can do. Some of my favorites that I had not thought of before were look after their pets, go to the grocery store for them, and take them to lunch or the movies. There were a lot more, and it is worth looking at the list. One important point that was brought out was the importance of taking the initiative. People grieving usually will not ask for help. It is also important that there is consistency in the help you give for as long as it takes.
3. Provide ongoing help
Many times in the beginning, people are there to help and check on how grieving people are feeling. After the funeral is over and people have gone back into their normal routines, this may be the time your friends need help. Keep checking on them. How well are they able to do normal everyday functions? Do they need someone to talk about their loved one?
4. Watch for warning signs
It is normal at first for grieving people to be confused or disoriented. They may be very distant or unable to complete simple tasks, but this should fade over time. If it increases in intensity or time duration, they may be suffering from clinical depression and may need medical treatment or counseling. The article says the best way to approach helping in this area is to express your feelings. “ I am troubled by the fact that you aren’t sleeping—perhaps you should look into getting help. ”
Being a good friend is to be just like you were before. This is the best way to help your friends through their grief.
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