Talking with someone who just experienced the loss of a loved one can be sad, uncomfortable and awkward. We often just don’t quite know what to say or do. Our apprehension may lead us to avoid talking directly to them at all, but that can lead to its own problems.
It is helpful to know there are some acceptable things you can say or do to comfort a loved one. Just keep these five thoughts in mind.
1. Do not Hesitate to Reach Out
You may have some hesitancy about how and when to reach out. The import aspect is that you take action promptly. Don’t wait. Let them know you have heard about their loss and are calling to express your sympathy. Initially, it can be that simple.
2. Understand that Grieving is Different for Everyone
Not only do people process grief differently, they grieve on a different timeline. Avoid comments that may suggest they will or should get through this quickly. Suggesting that things will get back to normal quickly or grief doesn’t last forever may be viewed as lessening their grief. Show respect and patience.
3. Look for Ways You May Help
There may be ways you can help, particularly in the early days of grieving. You could offer to cook for them, clean their house, run errands or mow their lawn. A gift basket can be a nice way to reach out and gift cards are usually appreciated. Restaurant and ride-sharing gift cards can be a nice way to demonstrate you care.
4. Be Empathetic and Honest
Someone who is grieving may be looking for someone to listen more than they need to be talked to. Be sympathetic and take time to listen. You don’t need to offer the perfect words of wisdom for every comment they make. Let them know you are there to listen.
5. Stay Connected
Many people are surrounded by family and friends in the early stages of grieving, but slowly that support often seems to diminish. They are still likely to need support in the weeks and months ahead. Don’t be afraid to reach out and suggest a lunch or cup of coffee. If they seem reluctant, give them space, but try again in the coming weeks. Show patience with their grief and let them know you are there for them.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, we have had the honor of serving families in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area for over a century. We’ve served some specific families for generations. We are just as honored to welcome new families. If you are new to the area and don’t have a “home” for final services for your family, we invite you to learn more about us. If you like, we can even help you pre-plan final services. We welcome your questions when you contact the professionals at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory.