Loss is something that can impact a person tremendously, often leaving scars upon one’s psyche that can carry many years into the future. Although the pain and sorrow one experiences from the death of a loved one can be lifelong, it’s almost undeniable that the beginning of the grieving process is the hardest.
Depending on the nature of the relationship the bereaved had with the departed, the initial most difficult period of time directly after a death can last anywhere from several weeks to several years.
It should not be expected that grief is an “easy” or “quick” process. For many it is an exceptionally “messy” ordeal, fraught with anxiety, depression and anger. A bereaved person may find various aspects of their life impacted by the strong emotions they feel in the aftermath of a loss, including their relationships.
If you or a loved one are struggling to cope with someone’s passing, you may be able to find support with Stonebriar Counseling Associates, a Christian psychotherapy institution.
You may be in a situation in which you wish to be of support to a loved one who is currently in the midst of grief. Here are three simple ways you can show someone you care when they are grieving.
1: Be present
Something as simple as asking someone how they’re feeling or if they need help with anything can be pivotal in proving to a struggling person that they are not alone.
By offering to hang out with your friend while they are hurting, you are offering them a much-needed distraction from the emotional turmoil they are currently experiencing. You may also be able to offer the same distraction simply by calling them on the phone and asking them about their day.
2: Offer assistance
When someone is grieving, they may find themselves lacking the energy to complete basic tasks that were once routine. Nightly home-cooked dinners become takeout from the Thai place on the corner; a clean-shaven jawline becomes messy and scattered with hairs.
One of the kindest things you can do for a loved one in these situations is offer your own energy to fill the gaps in theirs.
For example, you might want to invite them over for dinner, or bake something for them if you’re so inclined. Your loved one might even need to be reminded to eat, sleep or drink water.
3: Be patient
As stated previously, grief is not simple or fast. It’s extremely difficult and can impact not only an individual, but the wider social group which surrounded the departed.
Perhaps the worst thing to do is treat someone as if they’re grieving “wrong”, or as if by taking “too long” to process their emotions, they’re inconveniencing you in some way.
It should be understood that everyone processes trauma in their own unique way, and that rushing someone or making them feel like a burden for feeling the way they do often just makes matters worse.
Hopefully using these methods you will be able to show your support and care for your loved one. During such a stressful and traumatic event, they may actually need support more than you know.