Everyone’s response to grief, loss and death will be different.
There’s no right or wrong way to grieve.
Everyone has the right to go through their process. Some people isolate themselves, some fill the gap by staying busy, while others continue with their life as normal. The bottom line is, grief is a personal process.
If you are supporting someone that’s dealing with grief, loss or death it’s important to understand that they need to go through their process without anyone telling them “how to”.
I’ve heard people say, “I don’t know what to do.” All you need to do is be available to support. Sometimes less is more.
Death, grief + loss became real for me at 25 years old. I grieved silently while struggling with my purpose for living for many years. Processing my emotions about grief was hard (especially during the holidays). I lost my mother but I was also grieving the loss of family and my life as I knew it.
Loss of any kind triggers grief.
Having lost my mother and many other close relatives at a young age, I’ve had many years to experience my own grieving process. That process helped me to see grief differently. Years later, I realized that I didn’t need help, I needed support.
Here are 3 ways to support someone that’s grieving:
1. Don’t try to fix it
Don’t try to replace or fix what happened. The process of mourning has to be experienced at some point.
Allow people to have their experience then they can move forward.
Sometimes, all they may need is a listening ear. No advice. Just listen.
Listen to their stories, hurt, pain and whatever else they’d like to share.
No fixing it.
3. Ask, “How can I support you?”
They may not know how to answer that question right away, but that’s okay.
Sometimes, people simply want to know that someone is there for them if they need it.
Remember, no fixing it and no advice. Listen and ask. You will be surprised how the dialogue begins.