The passing of a loved one can eternally alter a person’s life. Mourners typically experience an increase in grief and despair as time passes after the first shock of loss has worn off. They often experience a range of negative and distressing feelings, such as despair, rage, remorse, and an overwhelming sense of loss.
It can be difficult to find the right words to comfort a friend or family member who has just experienced the death of a loved one. To a greater extent, if you have never lost a loved one yourself. Therefore, you avoid the topic because you are either not comfortable talking about grief or you don’t want to make the individual feel horrible. You may even be expecting the mourning person to feel a certain way or to resume their normal activities and move on with their life too soon. Hence, it’s common for the bereaved to feel even more alone and alienated under these circumstances.
Lucky for you, this article will outline some of the methods you may comfort a grieving friend or loved one. Continue reading to know more.
Give a Memorial Gift
Besides words of comfort, it may be helpful to be able to offer a meaningful gift to the bereaved. Oftentimes, a token of sympathy given to a grieving person may convey your emotions more effectively than words. Furthermore, it can help the grieving process by perpetuating the deceased’s legacy. It could be something that they can keep and treasure forever.
Among the many possible memory presents is a watercolor memorial portrait. They can frame it and display it in their living room as a constant reminder of the good times they enjoyed with their departed family member or friend. To show you’re thinking of someone, you may also send them a care package filled with goodies like coffee, tea, and snacks.
Be a Good Listener
The best thing you can do for a friend or loved one who is grieving is to let them know you are available to listen if they want to talk about their loss. If they start talking, try to let them finish their thought without interrupting too much. Permit the grieving individual to share what they are feeling and thinking in any way they see fit. Expressions of emotion may include sobbing, yelling, laughing, or expressing remorse or guilt.
However, if the individual who is mourning does not seem interested in communicating, don’t force them. They may find solace in merely being in your presence. If you find yourself at a loss for words, try just making eye contact, squeezing their hand, or giving them a hug. Keep in mind that the simple act of listening may mean a lot to someone who is experiencing loss.
Keep an Eye on Them
Whether it’s a short phone call, a card, or an offer to have coffee together, make sure your buddy knows you’re thinking about them. You never know how much someone who is in mourning will appreciate your thoughtfulness when you check up on them.
Nonetheless, avoid asking questions that have predetermined responses. For example, if you ask someone “how are you?” and they’re plainly not doing well, don’t bother asking them. Try, “How are you feeling today?” instead.
Furthermore, make sure that your friend is taking care of themselves by asking about things like how well they are sleeping and if they are eating enough. And keep in mind that you don’t have to make things better for your buddy; you can’t take away their suffering, but just being there for them and showing some compassion may make a huge difference.
Offer Practical Help
Many individuals find it difficult to reach out for support while they are mourning. It’s possible they’re too sad to call out for help, too ashamed of the attention they’re getting, or both. However, it’s not uncommon for people dealing with sadness to ignore their own needs for a while. That’s why it’s so important to provide practical help to a mourning buddy who is having trouble juggling everyday responsibilities on their own.
Some ways to comfort a bereaved person are to provide them with tangible assistance, such as
- Doing some necessary shopping or errand running.
- Doing some housework
- Picking up the phone and taking their call
- Looking after their kids
- Cooking them food
Remember What Should Be Avoided
There are various cautions about what not to do when supporting your mourning buddy, similar to the helpful suggestions. Even if your goal is to be helpful, you may unintentionally engage in harmful actions. That’s why it’s crucial to keep in mind all the things you ought to avoid. Some instances are as follows:
- Don’t be shy in remembering the departed
- Don’t use personal examples unless they are directly relevant.
- Don’t make negative remarks about their looks
- Don’t judge how long it takes your buddy to heal from a loss.
Offering Solace to a Mourner
Each person’s reaction to loss will be unique, so while there may be many things you may say or do to comfort them, it’s important to keep this in mind. You never know which of your ideas will land and which won’t. If you aren’t sure how to comfort a bereaved person, try asking them directly. Simply expressing concern and offering help may make a huge difference. Always be kind and accommodating of the individual’s mourning process.