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It is common for people to worry about doing or saying the wrong thing when supporting a grieving loved one.
As a result, they might be tempted to avoid a friend or relative out of fear they will amplify their pain and do more harm than good.
However, what your grieving loved one will need now more than ever is the support of their nearest and dearest. To guide them through a tragedy, find out how to help a loved one who is grieving below.
Listen Over Talking
While you might want to provide a loved one with words of comfort to help alleviate their pain, it is often much more helpful to listen.
Provide them with space to express their emotions and don’t attempt to change the subject, even if it is a little uncomfortable. In some cases, all they might need is for you to sit by their side and hold their hand.
Offer Specific Ways to Help
Be specific when offering ways to help a loved one who is grieving, or they will assume you are only being polite. For example, offer to pick their children up from school, run them to appointments, or cook them dinner.
State you want to help but are unsure how to do so, which could encourage them to express their needs.
Learn More About a Process
Losing a loved one can be an incredibly traumatic experience, which is why a grieving friend or relative might not be in the right mindset to think about the future steps they need to take, such as organizing a funeral.
As their friend, take the time to learn more about a process on their behalf.
For example, you could help them to understand more about the inquest process after an injury at birth, collision or an unknown cause of death. Your knowledge could simplify a process, which could help them to understand what they need to do, and the steps involved.
Be Patient with Your Grieving Loved One
Grief can affect different people in different ways. While some people can quickly pick themselves up following the loss of a loved one, others might struggle to cope with their emotions for many weeks, months or even years.
It is essential to have patience and encourage them to ask for help when they are struggling.
People can also display a variety of difficult emotions, which might make them challenging to be around, but try not to take their outbursts personally and provide them with space when they need or ask for it.
Try to Stick to Your Promises
It is vital to stick to your promises when a loved one has endured a tragedy. While you might want to stay at home or go into work, try to be there for your friend or relative, as they will need you now more than ever.
Abandonment is a common feeling for people who have lost a loved one, so cancelling plans to see them could potentially heighten this emotion.