While many of us have felt unsure as to how to cope with the loss of a loved one, what’s more, difficult is the task of supporting another who is grieving. Many of us can identify with the same sentiments. In fact, our hearts immediately go out to those who have shared a loss and need some sort of comfort and assistance without knowing how to ask for it.
Here’s how to properly help a grieving loved one.
The first instinct is to ask the person what you can do to help. While this is a wonderful suggestion, it is better to act rather than ask. Most people will offer all sorts of help such as bringing food, looking after children or running their painful daily errands. However, this isn’t always what the person may need. I fact, they may not even know what they need. The first thing you must do is to become available for them. This may make all the difference in how they deal with grief.
One of the healthiest ways to deal with grief is to talk about the person and the events of what is happening. While this portion of the funeral service is often short, research shows that it is often the most important factor of dealing with grief. Humans need to release their thoughts. To create balance, we must be those ones to listen.
Support Feelings of Grief
While you may feel the urge to say, “I know how you feel,” you don’t. Everyone deals with grief in his or her own ways. People may say these things with good intentions, but the person in grief may not appreciate them. We must validate their feelings into a unique feeling.
Be prepared for the fact that you may be the signal to release angry reactions or outburst from the griever. While it might not be a reflection on you, the problem lies within various aspects of the loss. Bottom line: they are angry. What makes it worse is that we cannot give them what they want to have the most.
When it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one, it is important to understand that everyone deals with the grief that comes with it. It is important to note that children have many questions and confusing of death that most adults may have. With that, their questions deserve simple answers that are easy to comprehend.
Here’s how to help children deal with loss.
Show support according to their development level
Children’s perception of loss and grief has to be understood according to their levels of development. With any sign of loss, there can be different meanings to children of all ages. Try to figure out how this loss is affecting your children and what they feel about the lost.
Support and dispel their fears
Children may be faced with countless fears, as they are often afraid of what is to come next. Most children often become afraid that someone else they love may also die soon or even himself or herself. However, it is up to adults to provide reassurance and understand their fears. Every child is terrified of being abandoned. That is why it is important to provide your children with the security of feeling that they will be well cared for in all their needs.
Support their grief
Every child will have some sort of response to dealing with grief. Instead of assuming that we understand everything they are feeling, we must allow them to lead the way. Children share their grief with only people they trust. As adults, we must learn to respectfully communicate, show acceptance, and understand their sense of grief in order to provide meaningful support.
Be sure to avoid all half-truths and be honest with your children and yourself. Aim to answer all questions with honesty and accept their response. They may turn to crying or whining, which may add to your already emotional stress. However, make it your mission to help them cope and be sensitive to such opportunities of asking children how they feel.