Helping Someone Who Is Grieving

Helping Someone Who Is Grieving

By HeartLight Center

Grief is something that everyone experiences at some point in time, and yet each loss and grief experience is as unique as our fingerprints. Everyone grieves at their own pace and in their own way – that doesn’t mean that anything is “wrong” with them, or with you. We grieve because we have loved.

Grief is a normal human experience, and it is a process – something to tend to. Grief is not something that people “get over” or that needs to be “fixed”. Some days will simply be easier than others.

If you are wondering how to help someone who is grieving, here are some ideas:

  • Listen some more. And then listen even more. People may need to tell their story over and over as they process their grief and integrate this loss into their life. Don’t judge people by what they say and how they feel. People can have a great deal to work through, and in time will come to answers that are right for them.

  • Be careful of clichés, religious platitudes or easy answers. You may not be able to help with certain issues right now, don’t be too quick to share your opinions, even if you hear something you might not agree with. People need time to work things out in their own unique way and timing. While common phrases can feel helpful to say, often they are unhelpful or feel minimizing or dismissive to the recipient.

  • Be sensitive to their needs. Be patient. Have confidence and believe in them. Grief is work of our minds, bodies and spirits. It takes time to learn to live in a “new normal.”

  • Be willing to show up. You don’t need to say anything profound or earthshaking, there is no “right” thing to say. Often, your greatest help is your quiet presence and simple deeds.

  • Provide a safe environment for strong emotions to be expressed. It may be painful, but it can be of enormous help. Don’t try to fix, minimize or solve anything.