On this blog I have started a series about grief and loss as it is something that I, and so many others, are dealing with right now and I want to help others out too. If you want to know more about my grief and loss then you can find out on my life update: where I’ve been and what’s happened post. In this series of 5 pieces of advice per post on grief and loss I aim to help people who are dealing with this issue or people who are surrounding somebody who is. I want to reach out to people struggling but also want to offer an experienced insight to this pretty taboo subject. So if you want to check out the series so far you can follow and check out the first post which is the 5 Things Not To Say To Someone Who Is Grieving post. I’ve also done a more diary-esque post on grief which is the How grief affects every aspect of your life without you even realising it post up on my site.
Today’s instalment is a follow up to the first one which I feel is important for people to know, in the first post I said what not to say so I wanted to follow it up by saying what you should say or do to support that person through their grief.
Make sure you keep up with them and just let them know you’re there for them.
Grief is one of the loneliest feelings in the world. It heightens every emotion and it is such a shock to the system that it makes you retreat into your own head. What people don’t understand is that when someone is stuck in their own head, they will always think negatively of what’s going on around them. So if people aren’t keeping up with them, they feel like people don’t care about them. When you’re grieving and trying to rebuild your new normal, you definitely don’t have the energy to be keeping up with people around you but you still need people around. So just make sure that you keep up with them and show them that you care because you never know what goes on in their head.
Be as normal and natural with them as you can, a lot of people can make them feel like they’re a ticking time bomb.
People don’t know how to react to death and somebody effected by death, so that leads them to walk on eggshells around that person. This is something you should avoid because it can alienate and isolate people. So be normal and natural, all that person wants right now is to be and feel normal and their environment can effect that. So have the normal conversations and banter you had before and let them know that you’re a constant in their life that won’t change.
Give them the space to talk about the person they’ve lost or their feelings, it’s important they have someone or somewhere they feel safe to do so.
On the other side of that, people dealing with grief need a space to be able to talk about the person they’ve lost because it can be a way to help them heal. It can be hard to talk about their grief and the person they’ve lost because they might feel like they’re going on about it or becoming a sob story. So let them know you’ll listen and that you want to hear what they have to say, give them a safe space to talk about their feelings with no judgement and no negative energy.
Support them with whatever makes them feel better, but also be able to say something if that isn’t healthy. Help them cope with it in a healthy way and be upfront and honest when their coping mechanisms become unhealthy or even dangerous.
Grief is very hard to cope with and so it can cause people to find coping mechanisms which are either healthy or unhealthy. People need friends that will support their healthy habits and also friends who will try to pull them away from the unhealthy mechanisms. For example, if somebody decides to go to therapy or gets a new hobby you should really support that because it is a positive step forward. But if they are going out drinking or doing drugs regularly and trying to medicate themselves with alcohol, then you should try to support them in a way which pulls them away from that.
Be understanding to that person, know that they will have to make some sacrifices in their lives to be able to process what’s in their heads. Sadly you could be a part time sacrifice so please have some understanding with that. Know that it’s not forever and please don’t be mad.
In my journey I have dealt with people not understanding that I had to sacrifice some of my social life to be able to deal with my grief. The best way to support somebody is knowing that you may not always be a priority to that person but you still want to be there for them. You need to be understanding to that person because they are dealing with trauma and they might not be able to be that person you need them to be, so please just support them and know that they do care but they have trauma to deal with.
This is 5 things that you should do to support somebody who is dealing with loss and grief. What do you think of these tips? Do you have any other ones to add to the list? Please let me know down below.
Thank you so much for reading today and I hope to see you around these parts again soon. If you’ve enjoyed my recent content then please leave me a like, comment and follow so I know! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest which are all left down below. I hope you have a good day or night wherever you are, and God bless.