How to help a friend that is grieving
A post from my friend, John, five months after the death of his wife. He is trying to explain how people can help. I only made slight edits from his original post. Here is how you can help someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one:
- Remember – Share your memories of the one who has died–even if you’re sad. What do you remember about her? Don’t be afraid to speak about the loved one because you want to make your friend sad. As John said, “I do sad really well and it actually encourages me when people talk about her in natural ways and in normal conversation.”
- Acknowledge – In the first year after death, there are many significant days. John pleads, “Please acknowledge them. My heart, even if my head misses it, “marks” these days. It helps to have people say something, remember, be there.”
- Share – Share with your friend when you miss their loved one. Sharing our losses with our friend can mean a lot to them. As John said, I learn that “I’m not alone in the loss, others experience her loss too.”
- Enter – “It helps to have people who will enter my loss, confusion and pain. Listening, just being present really make a difference. Silence to protect me or to avoid the awkwardness of talking about my wife’s death adds to my loneliness and isolation. I would much prefer to weep and be sad than to be left alone emotionally.”
Powerful words. Thank you John for these deep glimpses into your soul.