It’s incredibly heartbreaking to deal with the loss of a loved one, but what about when a close friend or family member loses someone they care about? You may be wondering how to support them without showing too much or too little attention and worry.
Usually, we feel like we don’t know what to say, or that we are saying the “wrong thing.”
At Grouport online therapy, we have a Grief and Loss group that meets once a week, every week. This group is perfect for those experiencing a recent or not so recent loss, or those who may not know how to support someone grieving.
Here are a few tips that we suggest:
Become a great listener
Most of the time, people experiencing pain from a loss just want someone to talk to. They aren’t necessarily seeking advice or want to be “cheered up.” They may be quiet, angry, bitter, sad, impatient, irritable, or unfair. It’s important to know that their demeanor isn’t personal. Just listen and be their shoulder to lean on.
Don’t expect a certain time
Someone grieving feels intense pain at first and numbing pain over time, but this doesn’t mean there will ever be an “aha moment” where they get over it. The pain will become a part of them, and instead of feeling it less, the person you know who is grieving will just learn to get comfortable with the pain and move towards a more accepting state. It’s best not to get impatient when someone is taking longer than you think you would to get over a loss.
Be there for simple tasks
It’s textbook during a time of grief to offer to bring over a casserole. When was the last time a casserole ever really made things better? The main intent here is to make your friend’s life easier and give them one less task to do (like preparing a meal). Other options can be offering to dog sit or spend time with the kids, grabbing some groceries, hiring a maid, literally anything to help out.
Don’t exert toxic positivity
There are times when being too positive can be a negative. It’s not going to help the situation if you’re reminding your friend to be grateful for the wonderful memories they had with their loved one. Or making them feel guilty, or rushing them to get over it. Emotions need to be felt, for as long as they need to be felt. Save the spiritual and self-help chatter for a more appropriate scenario.
Sit with the uncomfortable
We all deal with grief differently, and supporting someone grieving may just not be your thing. It could be a trigger for your own grief and loss, or you could be going through your own struggles and find it hard to be strong for someone else. Whatever the reason, know that this isn’t supposed to be comfortable. This is painful, and we have to accept that and sit with it for what it is. It’s not meant to be easy, even if you’re not the one grieving. Be there as best you can.
When you join Grouport, you’re matched with a small group of people going through the exact same thing as you. Maybe it’s not the Grief and Loss group, but the OCD or Anxiety group.
Whatever needs you may have, Grouport therapy is there for you, to strengthen your emotional and mental health in a safe community of supportive peers.
Reach out to us here anytime if we can support you in any way along your self-care journey.
All the best!