How To Comfort A Friend Who Lost A Relative: DOS AND DON'TS
Best Ways To Comfort A Friend Who Lost A Relative

We often want to give consolation when someone we care about is experiencing a significant loss. Often, though, there's confusion about what to say or do to provide comfort. Your message should be one of kindness and empathy, offering to be of assistance and support, but remember that frequently all individuals really need is someone to simply listen to them.

It's common to be at a loss for words when dealing with someone who is grieving the death of a parent, losing a child, or going through anticipatory grief. In actuality, there isn't anything that can be spoken to ease their emotional suffering quickly. Your goal, though, is to be to talk with compassion.

What should be done to offer condolences to your friends

1. Accept your friend's loss

Recognize that a significant loss has occurred and that you are unable to fully understand the bereaved person's emotions. Pay attention to the person who is losing something instead of yourself.

Saying the following to someone who has lost a loved one can be beneficial:

"I really apologize for your loss."

"Leave it with me; just know that I care,"

"I am here to help in any way I can, even though I don't know how you feel."

"I apologize if I am unable to improve things."

I'm sorry you're finding this so difficult.

"I apologize; things are very difficult right now."

2. Try your best to offer comfort by acknowledging and encouraging the person's suffering

Someone who has lost a loved one may find solace in the following statements:

"Grief has no expiration date, so please know that what you are experiencing is normal."

"You're not losing your mind."

"You will get through this, even though you might not be able to get over it."

3. Recall a fond memory of your friend

Family members may find consolation in this gesture even if it might be difficult to share recollections of a loved one who has passed away. It comforts them to know that their loved one won't be forgotten and that they have made a significant impact on other people's lives.

Although it can be challenging to strike up this conversation, the following advice will help you do so and what to say:

"I'll tell you a tale about _________. If I shared it with you right now, would that be okay? In any case, please let me know when you'd like to hear it.

Use words with empathy when you speak. Make sure you convey sympathy in your remarks. When sharing a recollection of someone who has passed away, use their name.

"There are a lot of qualities about _______ that I found admirable. Here are a few of them along with the explanations for why I will always remember them.

"________ was an amazing instructor. They taught me so many valuable lessons about life. Could I share with you what I learned from them?

"I want you to know that ________ had such wonderful effects on a lot of lives. I simply wanted to share a couple of my best recollections of this with you.

4. Explain How You Can Support Them.

People are in survival mode while they are grieving. In the throes of loss and grief, their routines and capacity for self-care are disrupted in ways they may not even be conscious of. Additionally, even if you are asking for aid, it could be challenging to required. Becoming proactive and providing them with specific, time-bound assistance in the form of tangible methods can be beneficial. These kinds of acts are very appreciated, particularly when fewer people are present following the burial and memorial rituals.

Here are some examples of how you can provide assistance:

"I'm sure the kids and you both like lasagna. On Monday, I'll stop by with dinner.

"On Saturday, I have some more time. What if I dropped by and we went to the playground at approximately one?

"On Friday, I'm heading to the grocery store." I'd be pleased to pick up and deliver some groceries for you while I'm there. How may I best serve you?

"I can take your dog too since I live next door and I'm going to be walking mine, so they can spend some time playing and walking together."

"Next week, I'll give you an update. I would love to take you out to lunch on Monday or Tuesday if you're feeling up to it.

"Thursday is predicted to be a stunning day. Would you be interested in going for a walk with me if I gave you a call?

5. Understand How Challenging the Bereavement Process Can Be

Everybody experiences grief in a different manner. It is not possible to accelerate the grieving procedure. A range of feelings may be present, and the intensity can vary from one second to the next or day to day. It's a trying and unpleasant moment.

Grief becomes increasingly difficult and overwhelming the closest one was to the deceased. Additionally, the death's circumstances have an impact the way bereavement is felt. If a person passed away unexpectedly, perhaps from a heart attack.

In addition to the grieving, there is a layer of trauma experienced after an attack or vehicle accident. In many cases, the healing process feels more overwhelming and takes longer to start.

READ MORE: The Most Auspicious Dates to Reunite with Old Friends or Relatives In 2024, According to Fengshui

6. Determine when is a good time to speak

Make sure the individual experiencing grief is in a suitable state of mind to engage in conversation during all of your interactions with them. They can be extremely distressed or occupied with another pressing matter. Before continuing, find out if now is an appropriate moment to speak. Additionally, if at all possible, it is usually a good idea to speak with them one-on-one.

Even after a death, some people are quite sensitive to gifts, so your best chance of getting your help accepted is to contact them when they're by themselves.

At the same time, don't let holding off on getting in touch with this person until the "perfect" moment. Even though there might never be a "good" moment to chat, you should be able to recognize when it's best to speak. It's probably better to wait, for example, if they are having a disagreement with their child or are in the middle of a conversation with the funeral director.

7. Make a particular assistance offer

It would be wise to follow through on your initial offer of help in your subsequent conversation. Attempt to be as detailed as you can. This will make it more feasible for you and assist them see how you can truly aid. Decide the task you want to help with and estimate how much time it will take.

If time is of the essence, you may offer to take up any surplus flowers from the funeral and give them to a hospital or other charitable organization.

Many will just offer to help, saying something like, "Call if you need me," leaving it up to the bereaved individual to ask for assistance. However, the bereaved individual could be reluctant to ask for help or might burden others. Make a particular offer, such as "I'd like to help by bringing you dinner tomorrow so you don't have to worry about cooking," rather than placing the burden on the bereaved individual. Is everything okay?"

How to interact with and pay attention to a bereaved person

It's crucial to let your bereaved friend or loved one know that you're available to listen if they want to talk about their loss, even though you should never try to compel someone to open up. When discussing the deceased, be honest and don't change the topic just because the person's name comes up. And when it seems right, gently probe the bereaved individual with open-minded inquiries that encourage them to share their experiences without coming across as inquisitive. You can let your loved one know you're available to listen by just asking, "Do you feel like talking?"

8. Send a Hug Rather than attempting to think of the ideal thing to say

There are numerous ways to show someone you care and support them while they are mourning, even if you are unsure of what to say or afraid to say something improper. To show someone you support and warm feelings, give them a warm smile, embrace, hold their hand, or put your hand on their shoulder. There are occasions when quiet descends, and these actions provide solace in those circumstances.

It's equally important to listen and to be present when offering help. For someone who is grieving, listening with compassion and without passing judgment can be quite meaningful. Offering the bereaved a chance to express their feelings and thoughts can be a thoughtful and friendly gesture that they will value.

Sayings not to say to a bereaved person

"That's how God has it planned." This cliche irritates some individuals. Frequently, their answer will be, "What plan? Nobody informed me of any plans.

"Observe the things for which you are grateful." Although they are aware of their blessings, they don't feel like they matter right now.

"He's now in a better place." This may or may not be believed by the bereaved. Until asked, keep your opinions to yourself.

"Now that this is behind you, move on with your life." Often, those who have lost a loved one struggle to move on because they believe doing so would imply "forgetting" them. Furthermore, it's far easier said than done to move on. Grief moves at its own pace and has a consciousness of its own.

What to avoid

When speaking with someone who has lost a loved one, steer clear of the following:

1. Avoid Discussing Your Friend's Religious Beliefs

Certain remarks could not align with the sentiments of the person who lost someone since they represent your personal morals or religious convictions.

Avoid saying the following to someone who has lost a loved one:

It's a component of God's design.

"They've moved to a better place."

Everything happens for a reason.

2. Don't Downplay Their Suffering

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, people say things that lessen the impact of someone else's loss and pain.

Avoid saying:

"Observe the things for which you are grateful."

"Now that this is behind you,

"Maybe it is better that they are no longer with us because they were ill for a long time."

3. Avoid Being Intimidating

Refrain from saying things that start with "You should" or "You will." These claims are overly straightforward. Instead, use "Have you thought about" or "You might try" to start comments.

Avoid saying:

"Have courage."

"Stop crying and move on with your life."

4. Avoid equating your loss with theirs

Everybody grieves differently. Grief comparisons shift the attention from the person who is grieving to you. The truth is that you could not be aware of their emotions.

Avoid saying:

"I understand your feelings"

"XYZ will make you feel better. For me, it was effective.

5. Don't Attempt to Mend Them

Sometimes people make the mistake of assuming that what works for them will also work for others. If a person is mourning, don't advise them how to feel or what to should or shouldn't do until they seek for advice. Avoid attempting to console them or hasten their grieving process. It doesn't work since grieving is a chronic condition. Your relationship with a bereaved loved one may suffer if you try to "fix" them.

Avoid saying:

"Well, for me, it worked to just get back up and move on; it can work for you too."

"I believe it will benefit you more if you return to work as soon as possible."

Avoid saying anything that may diminish their emotions. For instance, "Be thankful for what you do have; you're being so negative."

"All you have to do to feel better is to start practicing yoga or meditation."

Don't say things that seem to be judgmental of them. For instance, "You look terrible. You will be alright if you eat well and get some sleep.

6. Avoid Assuming Anything About When They'll Be "Stopped Lamenting"

You should not dictate to the bereaved individual how long they should mourn. They might handle sorrow differently than you did, and there are a lot of factors that affect how long it takes to grieve. It depends in part on the nature of the death and the degree of connection between the deceased and the bereaved. In addition to grieving, trauma is also a part of losing a loved one, whether it be unexpectedly or as a consequence of a heart attack or vehicle accident.

Avoid saying

"You ought to be moving on with your life; ________ has been gone for a very long time."

"I grieved for six months after losing my spouse, and then I moved on."

"You have to gather yourself quickly; the children are counting on you."

"With time, you will heal."

"This level of sadness is abnormal; it's time to move on."

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