There are times in life during which you will be the person who is there to help a friend or family member grieve over the loss of a loved one. If you’ve already experienced the loss of someone close to you, then you may already have an idea of how to support those who are grieving.
On the other hand, if loss and grief is new to you, follow the tips below to help your own loved ones get through the mourning and grieving period.
- Acknowledge the death of your friend’s loved one.
- Refer to their loved one by their name.
- Be available to listen. Allow your friend to talk freely and openly about their feelings. Keep in mind that your friend may not expect you to say anything in return, but feel the need to talk to someone.
- Don’t avoid having conversations about the deceased, or telling stories about them. It’s important to remember and honor your friend’s loved one.
- Make it known that you are available to help, even if your friend doesn’t feel that they need or want help.
- Commit to talking to your friend regularly at least once per week or once per month, as appropriate.
- Make plans to spend time with your friend doing one or more of their favorite activities that give them pleasure.
When helping those closest to you through the grieving process, it’s important to keep in mind that the length of the grieving period is different for everybody. It may take your friend several weeks, months, or even years to feel normal again after having lost a loved one.
Here are “don’ts” to keep in mind when helping friends and family through the grieving process:
- Don’t talk about irrelevant topics or news unrelated to the deceased just for the sake of making conversation and filling dead air. Everyday topics considered mundane to your friend could overshadow their grief, and result in a setback.
- Don’t push your personal beliefs on your friend if they begin to question their own beliefs and philosophies surrounding life and death.
- Don’t use cliches in an attempt to make your friend feel better about their loss, such as “Your loved one is in a much better place now.”
- Don’t talk about your own personal problems or losses when spending time with your friend.
Family-owned and operated, Heartland Cremation believes that family comes first, and is dedicated to working with you to ensure your loved one receives the honorable service they deserve. Please contact Heartland Cremation for more information about funeral and cremation services in the greater Kansas City area.