Tips for Dealing with Grief and Loss
Ask Permission: for example: “is it okay if I…”
Help to mobilize resources. The loss of a loved one can be overwhelming; there are funeral and financial arrangements, and so many other day-to-day things that need to be done, particularly if the loss was not anticipated. Any practical assistance is often appreciated whether it be food, childcare, helping to do laundry or tidy up the home. These are all things that the grieving person may not have the energy to do.
Sit with; sometimes this is all that is needed.
Share stories; when the grieving person is ready to.
Check-in; call, show up, send a card, do something to show that you care.
Be there, long term. Often people show up immediately after a loss and then the support quickly disappears. Especially after an unexpected or traumatic loss, grief is likely to be ongoing. Having a support system can be critical for an individual’s well-being.
Immediately After The Loss
Don’t avoid the person facing a loss.
Don’t make attempts to relate if you can’t, just be there.
Use clichés or intellectualize.
Don’t avoid difficult emotions.
Try not to emphasize faith if that is not something the person who is grieving believes in.
Do not pathologize someone’s grief.
Try not to overwhelm family members who have just lost a loved one with your own grief or sadness, they should not be burdened with trying to help you regulate yourself (as a friend or acquaintance).
Dealing with Chronic Grief
Avoid Judgment; rather than looking at it as something wrong with an individual, try thinking about what has happened to them.
Remember, the degree of pain is an indicator of the degree of loss.