When someone you know and care about has lost someone dear to them, it can be difficult to know what to do or say. Words can seem inadequate and finding just the right ones may seem impossible. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help them, and you, get through their grieving process.
Do take the initiative to reach out to them. Don’t let your fear of choosing the right words stop you from contacting them. If you can’t see them in person, send a note, text, sympathy card or even a heartfelt email. Let them know you are aware of their loss and are there for them should they need anything.
Don’t compare their loss to one you’ve experienced. Every loss is different and each person grieves uniquely. This is their loss and that is important to acknowledge. Comparing this deeply personal time for them to something you’ve already experienced can appear to minimize that loss for them.
Do listen to what they have to say. Sure, you want to let them know you are there for them and you care about them. Make sure, however, you are giving them room to talk and express their grief. There may be sobbing and crying and that’s alright. Don’t worry too much about silence. Sometimes a long warm, comforting hug can mean so much more than words anyway.
Don’t pry into details they may not yet feel comfortable talking about. There may be details surrounding the death that you may be curious about, but now is not the time to ask. While you want to listen to what they want to share, be cautious not to pry into areas they may not be willing to discuss yet.
Do share memories of the loved one. If a friend lost a parent, share a memory about them when you were a kid. If you have other fond memories or a few photos this is a good time to share them. It may even bring a smile or even a laugh or two. This demonstrates that while the person may have passed, their memories will always be with us.
Don’t rush to help them get through it. Everyone grieves their own way at their own pace. Only they can decide when enough is enough. Give them the time and space they need to grieve in a way that brings resolution to them.
Do stay in touch. This is particularly important if someone has lost a spouse. Be sure to touch base in the weeks or months following, even if it is just for lunch or even a cup of coffee. You may never know how important these contacts can be to them.
Don’t be afraid to step forward. Don’t ignore someone’s loss because you may not know exactly what to do or say. You are not alone. Many of their other guests will feel exactly as you do. The important thing is to demonstrate your support. It is one of the reasons funerals are such a powerful way to move through the grieving process.
A Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, we’ve had the honor of serving families in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area for well over a century. If someone you care about has lost a loved one, we would encourage you to reach, in even the simplest of ways, to acknowledge their grief and their loss.
When you experience a loss, we are here to help. Please feel free to contact us at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory.