Coping with the death of a loved one is extremely difficult, and talking to an individual who has lost someone may feel uncomfortable. You want to be sympathetic and helpful, but you might not know how best to help someone when they are grieving. The support of friends and family can significantly help the individual who is grieving; it shows them that they are loved and have a support network that is there to help. Here are a few ways to help someone who is grieving…
Contact them and let them know you are there for them.
If you do not live with the person who is grieving, send them a message or give them a call. You may feel like avoiding someone when a friend or family member of theirs dies, as you may be worried that you will say the wrong thing and upset them. As uncomfortable as it may feel, your support will help them through their grief. If they are comfortable, visit them in person and listen to them. By contacting them in any capacity, you are letting them know that they are loved and supported. It may not feel like you are helping in a significant way, but you are.
Grieving is difficult, let them be emotional.
An environment where the bereaved can express their feelings is extremely helpful. The phrase ‘don’t cry’ may feel like a good thing to say at the time, but individuals who have lost someone need an emotional outlet. It is OK to be silent when someone cries; you do not need to try and get them to stop. To be reassuring, touch them to let them know that you are there for them. It does not have to be intimate, a touch on the hand or a friendly hug goes a long way.
Help them with everyday tasks.
The pain and sadness that comes with grief can completely stop people in their tracks, meaning, for a time, they cannot do everyday tasks. Help them by doing some of these tasks for them: help them with admin, cook them dinner, or walk their dog. These may not feel like significant tasks, but you are helping them get through the day. They will appreciate your help, as it will make them feel loved and supported.
Try to avoid these phrases.
There are some phrases that people say that may seem helpful in the moment, but can be upsetting or harmful to those who are grieving. For example, try not to make their death about religion if they are not religious. Saying ‘it’s part of God’s plan’ or something similar may anger and upset them. Do not tell them that they have a lot to be thankful for and that they should get on with their life. Bereavement is a challenging situation to endure, and people need time to process their loss. Be sensitive in your language and always be respectful and understanding of their feelings.
Ask them if they need help organising the funeral.
Organising a funeral can be overwhelming. If you are in a position to do so, and the grieving individual wants your help, organise the funeral with them. Do some research, make some calls for them, or be there for them when they need to mull ideas over with someone. Your support will help them through the process.
If you need to organise a funeral for your loved one, contact us today via our contact form or call us on 0208 819 3469. A member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss your requirements in more detail.