Grieving is a highly personal process, and one of life’s most difficult experiences. It can be painful to watch someone you care about go through the process of putting a loved one to rest, but there are some things you can do be supportive during this time. Everyone grieves differently, so it’s important you respect where your loved one is in this painful process
If you don’t know exactly what to say to a loved one after they’ve lost someone, that’s okay. The most important thing to do is actively listen. Let the bereaved know they have permission to talk openly about their feelings and of the death itself. Let your grieving loved one control the conversation. Some of the things your loved one says may be uncomfortable to hear, but just let the person know you’re there to listen.
Be Honest and Supportive
Your loved one is hurting during this complex process. When supporting a grieving person, simple statements remind the grieving person you are there for him or her. You can share a favorite memory of the lost loved one, and even simply tell the person that you do not know what to say, while letting him or her know that you are there for any kind of support.
Don’t Trivialize Your Loved Ones Grief
Avoid telling your loved one to “look on the bright side” or to not worry because “you’ll get over this.” These may seem like comforting things to say, but in reality, your grieving relative is surrounded by feelings of sadness, anger, or even guilt. You run the risk of belittling your loved one’s grieving process with these types of comments.
Include Your Loved One in Activities
Your grieving relative should be encouraged to go out for dinner, coffee, a movie, or other activities. Call and see if your loved one feels like doing something with you. He or she may want to share a quiet evening at home with you instead. If so, go ahead and spend time with the person. Many times, support tends to wane in the weeks following a funeral, so it’s important you keep in social contact with your loved one for months to come.
If you and family need to plan a ceremony celebrating the life of someone you loved and lost, contact a respectful funeral home. Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, CA provides cremation, funeral, and many other end-of-life services in a caring and personal manner. Call (510) 992-6709 for more information.