One of the most common things we are told by guests during a funeral is “I am sorry for your loss.” While you may be genuine in your response, coming up with different responses that come from your heart can make a big difference in how that person goes forward in their grief. Speaking from your heart and empathizing with what your loved one is going through can be a big help to their sadness and guide them back to happiness.
You may not know what to say to someone who has lost someone if you have never been in that situation before. That person probably feels lost in the world and is questioning how life works like losing a spouse that they pictured spending their whole lives with or outliving your child. It can seem awkward and scary because you do not want to make anything worse for that person. But, doing nothing about a friend’s grief will make that person think you do not care enough to reach out. Just letting someone know that you will be there for them will provide them with a great source of comfort and warmth. It just needs to be told in the simplest way so that a person should never have to wonder if you will be there for them. Do not force being there for that person if your loved one is not ready to let anyone in yet. Just give them the option that if you are looking for a lending hand, you will be there to hold it and help feel better.
Telling someone to let you know if they need anything is a very general request. Your loved one is too absorbed in their sadness to think of a helpful task for you. You should instead pick a task and commit to doing so. You can tell things that person things like you will bring a cake or a casserole to their house tomorrow or that you can just come for a visit to talk. You can also offer to help them do any chores that can lighten their load like any laundry, cooking, or picking up groceries. You can also help out your loved one’s children like picking them up from school or making lunches for them. Letting that person know about the task you are willing to accomplish for them will show that you are serious.
We tend to feel bad about feeling bad or crying in front of others. It may be common to tell someone not to cry because we want them to feel better. The truth is that your loved one will not feel better because you tell them to. You need to let them know that it is okay to feel sad. That they can try for the person they are grieving for and to let it out. Just let that person be how they are naturally instead of trying to change them. And again, let them know that no matter how bad they are feeling, they can always turn to you.
Remember that when someone is grieving, no one should forget about the person who passed away. You can ask that person if they have any favorite memories they should like to share or moments that made them laugh with them. Maybe you have never met the deceased person before and you would like your loved one to educate you on them. It will show them that you care enough to get to know someone that you never had the chance to meet. Or if you have met that person, you can share with your loved one your favorite memories of that person to make them smile again.
Sometimes, words do not need to be said because that person may be too distraught to respond or listen to anything you say. If you do not know what to say or you are worried that what you may say may make your loved one even more upset. When this happens, give your loved one a hug to provide them with the comfort they are seeking. Sometimes, listening to your loved one vent about their feelings is enough without having to provide commentary. Do not judge or give advice to your loved one unless that is something they are seeking from you.
If you do not know what to say, show your sympathy for that person in other ways. You can help that person out with funeral expenses or send gift cards for food delivery services if they are too distraught to cook or leave the house. If your loved one does not want money from you, you can also offer to donate to a charity in that deceased person’s name whether it is related to the cause of death or a charity that person appreciated. It may feel strange being in situations where you are comforting someone who has lost someone as what you say cannot change the circumstances of that person’s death. But, being there for someone who has lost someone can make a big difference in that person’s mental health showing that there are people out there who are still there for them and are loved.
Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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