When I lost my mom, I realized people struggled with what to say. What they thought were helpful and hopeful statements was hurtful.
When someone has lost a loved one, the best thing you can do is to understand that there are no words that can make them feel better. They will need time to adjust and accept it. Often, the best way to help somebody during these difficult times is to literally be there for them.
There is always the trail of comments that respond to posts about losing a loved one on social media that say, “I’m praying for you” or “I’m here for you.” When someone is hurting, they don’t necessarily contact you to say “hey, I’m hurting.” Since most people don’t openly express their pain. Are people who say they’re praying for you really doing so at that moment, or is it something that happens later? Although I’m not saying these texts or messages are ignored, they are appreciated. If that’s all you do, however, in those moments when someone is feeling lonely or empty, it takes more than words to make them laugh. While there are no words you can say in those circumstances, you might be able to do something that will make their face smile while face to face.
Following is one step you should take when someone you know has lost a loved one
Show your support
Be there for them and show them that you care. Getting to know how you can help is appreciated. Our support for people is often based on what we think they would like or how we would like to be supported. Instead, ask them how they would like to be supported. Perhaps they’ll say they want to be left alone or maybe they’ll vent to you because that’s what they need. You cannot simply be there for someone based on what you believe being there means, because that does not necessarily mean that they felt that you were there for them. People have different love languages, and we have different expectations. In these times, it is crucial to be transparent. There are times when people tend to give you positive quotes or say things like, “Well, you know he’s in a better place,” which may be true, but may not be what we need to hear at that time. While this time is difficult, if you care about your loved one, ask them what they need from you.
Show up for them. Show up by bringing dinner, new jammies, roses and a book on dealing with grief. You can also encourage others to join support groups like one here. In the days after my mother died, a friend came from more than one hour away to pick me up to just get me out of the house. Our destination was near her house an hour away. It was exactly what I needed. Knowing that there were other people who cared about me. It felt good to be around friends. Still to this day I appreciate that she drove an hour away to drop me off and drove an hour away to take herself home after the event. It was a very selfless act. When a friend has lost someone, showing up for them is literally the best thing to do. The depth of the loss can be the parent of a friend you have been close to for years, it can sometimes leave them in a fog. Hence, when someone doesn’t want your help or is distant from you, don’t take it personally. Instead, show up with some extra love and patience.
My Lasting Wish Team – Linda
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