Talking about death can be uncomfortable, and it’s something that many people avoid. Often, it’s because they don’t know what to say or how to process this sudden change in their life. Even when the grief does not directly affect you, it’s still challenging to face up to the loss. But, as a friend or relative, you want to do everything you can to help someone who experiences grief.
Be There for Them
The first thing to do when helping someone grieve is to be there for them. Most of them, that’s all they want. They don’t need you to solve problems or come up with answers. They simply need someone they care about to be there while they are planning funeral services or getting other affairs in order.
It’s easy to feel lonely when you lose someone suddenly. Such an event can often throw your entire world upside down, and you may not know what to do. It’s helpful to have someone there to help when having a moment or as you slowly come to terms with the fact life won’t be the same.
Offer to Take Control
It’s also difficult to will yourself to do anything when going through grief. If you know someone who has recently lost a loved one, you can offer to take control. You can offer to do as much or as little as you feel comfortable with, so if they need you to enquire about funeral costs or understand the life insurance policy, you should offer to help.
You don’t always need to take control of important issues, though. Most of the time, they will be happy for you to bring over some dinner or do their grocery shopping. These small acts are always appreciated and can help them balance their grief.
If you’ve experienced grief before, you know you’ll spend every minute thinking about it. This is good for the grieving process, but you don’t want to spend every waking minute thinking about something you cannot change.
Some people may want you to distract them. Exercise or another activity can give them a brief but beneficial respite from their grief, and it keeps them social and active, which can prevent depression that can occur while experiencing grief.
Give Them Time
Anyone who has lost a loved one before knows grief has no timeline, so you shouldn’t rush them to get over it. In many cases, they will never get over it, and that’s okay.
While they may not get over it, they can still come to terms with their loss. At first, they may struggle to do anything, such as get out of bed or eat. Over time, however, they will start to learn to live without their loved ones and adapt their lifestyle. Ultimately, they will manage.
Grief takes many forms. Some people will seem shocked, whereas others may try to do as much as possible to distract themselves from what has happened. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer regarding how to deal with grief. For you, all that’s important is letting your loved one grieve and ensuring you help them however you feel is best.