Grief is a very complicated process to go through and people are almost completely broken by it. The sheer pain itself can stretch a person’s sanity to its limits and it’s a very agonizing thing to feel, let alone to witness. This is why approaching a friend who is in the middle of grieving can be a very sensitive subject. Oftentimes, we decide to let people be and let them deal with the grief in their own privacy, but to some, the thought of simply leaving a friend or a family member alone in a time like this is sort of an act of betrayal. A grieving friend can feel so utterly spent that they just would need somebody to lean on. And sometimes, this task may fall on you.
However, in times when we want to help a friend or a family member who is dealing with the pain of loss is a very touchy subject that sometimes, even if our intentions to help are overwhelming, we get stuck on just what to do or say. In this article, we will impart a few helpful tips and things to keep in mind when consoling a friend or a family member who is going through some rough patch.
Accept the Pain
That pain that person feels is real and it is there to stay. There is nothing you can do to soothe, fix or repair what had just happened. The only thing that can make the pain stop is for that dead person to become alive again. So, unless you have the ability to raise the dead, try not to say anything that you think will fix your friend’s pain. In time, your friend will be grateful you did not try to take this pain away when he or she was in the midst of it.
Make plans to actually be by your grieving friend’s side. Saying “call me if you need anything” does not cut it. You have to say, “I will be there 5pm, Wednesday to help you clean up the mess in your house” or “I will be arriving at Saturday 6pm so we can listen to music and cook you something.” Your grieving friend or family member will feel too emotionally exhausted to even call you up on their own accord, so you must be proactive and do what you can to help without being asked.
Do Follow Ups
The emotional weight of all this may be too much for your friend. This could mean that it would fall upon you to handle the guests who want to visit and offer their own consolation. Remember that doing the small things can go a long way in helping your friend as they cannot be bothered to do anything as of the moment. Things like, walking the dog or shoveling the snow or raking the lawn can be a good way to start. Just don’t meddle with the clutter and the personal stuff as other people in the house may not like that.
Do Not Expect Anything in Return
Your friend is in deep grief and perhaps just came from a funeral ceremony. It is not easy for them, nor will it for you. Watching them writhe in agony can make them say hurtful things to you sometimes. You will be carrying this friend for a while and with it, you will be carrying their stresses, anger, and fears while not succumbing to them as well. You will feel unappreciated during this time as they do not have the capacity to reciprocate any nice things in the world. They are down at the moment and thus cannot give anything back. You must be a rock, a pillar for your friend or family. This grief is about them, not you.
Show Your Love
You are at a time when your friend or family needs you the most. More than giving a funeral poem in the eulogy, they need your genuine love and care. In fact, you may be the only one he or she has for support. Thus, you will not be there to tell the griever how to feel of what to do at this time. You will just be there to let things play out as they will but to make sure he or she goes through this just fine – by staying in the background. With that said, this person will need your love the most. Do not let them down.