LISTENING IS THE GREATEST GIFT
The common theme throughout this series has been to listen. Listening can be the greatest gift you give someone in their time of grief. Keeping feelings of sorrow, frustration, anger and sadness bottled up inside will slow the healing process. The need to tell the story and share those feelings will decrease as healing takes its course. Being there for someone to talk with and really listening helps more than most realize.
Allow The Expression of Guilt: Don't try to rescue people who have feelings of guilt. In most cases, it is really regret - regret that they didn't get to say goodbye, didn't make it that last time to see them, did or said something hurtful, guilt that lives on. These are natural feelings in most cases and once again, just listening and not judging or making them change their mind is the best course.
Let the Survivor Grieve In His/Her Own Way: Placing your own way of dealing with loss onto someone else is usually not going to help. Sometimes people need quiet, solitude, others need company and activity. Avoid being judgmental, but do keep an eye to make sure that the grieving process is moving in the right direction.
Remember Special Days and Times: Try to be aware of special days, times or triggers for someone who is mourning. Marking your calendars for these special days to remind yourself to reach out to your friend or family member can make all the difference in the world.
Suggestions in this blog were taken from My Careletter, a publication to help those who have lost someone. Copies of current issues are available by contacting us. Re-printed courtesy of Heartlight Magazine.