How To Be Supportive In Times Of Grief
During these trying times, we are all grieving in different ways. People are experiencing tremendous losses and many feel like they are grieving alone. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, a job, or the feeling of structure and routine, loss is present for nearly everyone.
High school and college students do not get to experience the graduation ceremony they have awaited, and rituals and gatherings are postponed indefinitely. During these times more than ever, it is important to be supportive and reach out to your loved ones, and below are a few ways to do so.
1. Stay in Contact
During times like these, we are all feeling somewhat isolated and separated from some of our loved ones or friends. By reaching out with a phone call, text, or even a handwritten letter, you can make this person feel supported and connected. Keeping up with your loved ones and those who are grieving around you is crucial when there is a loss of human interaction.
2. Refrain from Comparison
When talking through difficult conversations like death or other forms of losses, it may be easy to relate it back to yourself to make the other person feel like they are not alone. However, this comparison can make them feel like their emotions are invalid and not understood. Rather than comparing their loss to another loss, listen to what they are going through and be there for emotional support.
This allows them to express their emotions and sometimes just talking about the situation rather than keeping it bottled up can help improve their situation.
3. Assist with meals
When someone is grieving a loss, it can be hard to get off of the couch or out of bed to cook a meal. By going to the grocery store for them and preparing food for them, this can improve their day greatly and show them how much you support them.
When someone experiences a loss, their whole routine will feel out of line and it will take time to adjust, so anything you can do to keep their routine moving will be greatly appreciated.
Although there are many ways to show your support and for loved ones who are grieving, one of the most important things to do is just be there with open ears. Even though it may seem like the person needs advice, they often just need a place to let out what is going through their head and feel like they have someone there for support.
Unless asked for advice, the best thing to do is acknowledge their feelings and let them know that what they are going through is very normal during a loss.
5. Avoid Judgement
Since everyone grieves in different ways, it may take your loved one a lot longer to adjust emotionally and mentally than you would expect. Instead of judging them and wishing that they would be back to normal, you need to just provide support for as long as they need it and let them adjust.
Especially during difficult and unpredictable times like these, someone may be grieving over something that you may not think is a big deal in compared to other events going on. However, judging the situation and providing these types of opinions will only hurt the other person and make their feelings seem invalid.
There are many different ways to be supportive in times of grief, and these different solutions will vary based on the situation and what the other person is going through. It is important to recognize that during times like these, people may be grieving things that stray from the norm, but being there for them and reaching out for support will help them in more ways than you could imagine.