Life is hard, especially at the moment. We are all facing struggles during this pandemic that we never expecting. Being told time and time again that we need to remain at home and not socialise with out loved ones is difficult, especially during the winter months when many people grapple with sadness brought on by the darker nights and the cooler weather.
There are moments in life when we must help our near and dear ones, who are grieving for someone they have lost. It can be an adamant time for a grieving person. Their loss can feel enormous. However inconsolable they may seem; you can still extend our helping hand towards them and help them recover from this challenging time.
It’s worth bearing mind that supporting a grieving individual is not an easy thing to do; however, below are a few things that can help.
Grieving: How to Help Those that Need it the Most
#1 Listen to them and learn what to say
The first step in this process is to listen to your friend or family member and understand them. Try to provide them with proper support and comfort and avoid topics that may increase their sufferings or pain. An excellent way to do this is to get the grieving person to steer the conversation. Don’t offer solutions; there is no practical solution to a loss; you can be there to
voice their pain too and let them emotionally lean on you.
#2 Let them express their feelings
When you are talking to a grieving person, let them express their love and feeling for the deceased. Please don’t take the opinion that it’s over and done with. They might cry, and feel sad at the moment, hold their hands and let them say whatever they think after that and try to calm them down. They may laugh about the good ideas, laugh with them. They may alternate between different emotions. The most important part is to give them a safe space to voice these emotions.
#3 Offer practical support
Apart from listening and talking to them, it is better to help them in some practical way. It is not uncommon for a grieving person to become temporarily depressed. For many, they may begin to struggle with basic tasks. It’s essential to ensure the grieving person understands that it is ok, not to be ok. It would help if you expressed that you are not here to judge them but support them through a difficult period. Offer them help in any work required, help them in outdoor work, such as grocery shopping, different types of arrangements, or dealing with funerals matters that they might not be able to deal with. This practical support will provide them relief from the stress and give them mental space to process their pain. Extend your support after the funeral, help them pick and drop kids, take care of their pets/plants and keep visiting them on special occasions.
#4 Provide company
Do not leave them alone, if a grieving person is left alone for a long time, there is a chance that they will start to develop depression or anxiety due to the stress of this situation. Offer them your company and provide them with your shoulder to grieve. This will help them quickly recover from their stage of shock, trauma, and grief. Also, keep visiting them after the funeral if it is possible for you. If you become concerned about your friend or family member’s mental health, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional and encourage them to get help.
#5 Try to help them develop a routine
Returning to everyday life can be very difficult for a grieving person. So, in the early days of their grief, try to be as helpful as you can, and after that, try to help them return to their everyday life. You can do this by taking them by first getting them out of their room, house and offering them your company during the first few days of their life as they try to become normal.
For more resources on supporting an adult with bereavement visit some of the following links:
– NHS for information on stress, anxiety and depression.
– MIND can provide support for anything concerning your mental health.
– Care For The Family offers bereavement support.
Even if you feel that your struggles are small, please speak up. Call friends, family or any one of the many dedicated helplines. During this extremely difficult time, please check on all your loved ones and neighbours; stress, anxiety and depression do don’t discriminate. People are suffering in silence and we need to make sure we are all coming together to help.
Do you know of other organisations or helplines that people need to be made aware of? Please leave all the links below detailing how people can get in contact with the organisation either online or via the telephone.
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