Showing Your Support: 4 Ways to Support Someone Who is Grieving
Grief and loss are possibly among the most trying and excruciating experiences we will ever go through in our lives. According to psychological studies, grief and navigating it is a complex process, one that different people undertake in different ways.
We all know support is essential to those who have suffered loss. The question is, with something so complex, so personal, so acute and deep, how does one determine the best way to show support for those who are grieving?
Showing Support for Those Who Have Suffered Loss
There are times when the loss suffered as well as those who are facing the brunt of it are extremely close to us. In such cases, we might know exactly what they need and how to extend a hand. But showing support to a colleague, a co-worker, neighbor, or anyone you care about but may not have spent enough time with, you might be asking yourself “How do I help?”
In any case, just saying “I’m so sorry” is not nearly enough. So here are some ways in which you can meaningfully support your grieving friend.
Be as Available as Possible
The first thing you can do to show you’re there for them, is to be available when they need you. If someone is suffering loss, make sure you reach out to them, visit their home when you can, call or message during the day and check in and try to respond whenever they reach out to you.
Even if it’s just ten minutes over the phone, those ten minutes can mean the world to a person grieving. Your availability shows your support. Le them know they’re not alone.
Keep on Asking
People suffering grief and loss need support but in many cases, they may not know how to ask for it. Tell them you what to do something for them and are going to do it, and for them to tell you what it is they need exactly. For instance, you call them and tell them you are coming over with a meal and ask what it is they would like from a specific restaurant. They might try to decline your offer because they don’t want to feel like a burden, reassure them that you want to help and that you doing this small act of kindness is out of love because you care. As them how they’re doing today and if they would like someone to talk to, even if it’s just for a few minutes before bed. In any case, try to be as concrete as possible in ways you can help by giving them options of things you can do for/with them, such as going with them for a walk, taking them out for coffee, setting up a night out with friends, watching their kids, etc. If they say no to your suggestions, ask them again a few days or weeks later. Anyone who has suffered the trauma of loss knows it’s hard to navigate the simplest of things. Therefore, you might need to be proactive.
Don’t Forget Practicalities
Finally, people who are in a state of bereavement always require a little help with day-to-day tasks whether they ask for it or not. If you really want to have someone’s back through a hard time, make sure the basics are taken care of. Do they have food at home? Is there anyone fulfilling the household chores like cleaning the house or keeping up with the lawn?
Of course, you can’t drop everything and physically perform every one of these tasks, but you do have companies like ours who can help you provide the support that you know we will make a difference in their healing process. Our online grief support platform allows you to gift practical services they can choose from when they need it. This way, you allow them the space and time to focus on their bereavement journey while getting their day-to-day needs taken care of.
Apart from looking after the day-to-day, providing emotional support is something that really shows you’re here and care for someone. However, they may need professional help and/or to connect with people going through a similar situation as them. On our platform you can also find resources for counseling and group support specific for those struggling with loss.
Helping those in need connect with such resources is a sure way to show that you have their well being, healing, and best interests at heart. Most of the resources are free or offer a sliding fee structure. Check out our Resources Page for more information.
Grief and loss is something that only those who have been through it can truly understand. Bot for those of us who haven’t, we can still be supportive in the ways mentioned above. Just remember, no two people are the same and different people may require support in different ways. Be sensitive, be gentle, give people the space they need, do something meaningful for those struggling… Your care and support during difficult times will mean the world to them.