3 Ways You Can Support Someone After a Loss

3 Ways You Can Support Someone After a Loss

Someone you know has just suffered a loss. Maybe one of your close friends lost a parent, or perhaps one of your relatives lost their spouse. As your loved one struggles through grief, you know you want to support them as best as you can. Yet sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out what someone needs when they’re grieving, even if you truly want to help.

Everyone’s needs are a little bit different, and grief is such a personal experience. When someone close to you is dealing with a loss, you may not know how to be there for them. Despite the fact that people deal with grief in different ways, there are a few key things you can do to support your loved one after a loss.

Here are some tips on providing your loved one with a crucial support system.

1. Spend Time Together After the Memorial Services

When someone passes away, their relatives and friends gather to honor their memory at a funeral. Depending on their culture, there may also be other memorial services or ceremonies that are held in the days or weeks after their passing.

During this time, people might flock to your loved one’s home with flowers, casserole dishes, sympathy cards, and other gifts. However, after a few weeks, people are back to living their normal lives. In the meantime, your loved one has to go on rebuilding their life after the loss. Suddenly, no one is around to help anymore.

After the memorial services have been held, it’s a good time to extend a hand to your loved one. Perhaps you could get in touch with them about making plans in the next few weeks so that they have something to look forward to. If you live nearby, you could also ask them if they need help with anything around the house. That way, you can stop by and spend time with them on a regular basis.

2. Check in and Offer Help

Maybe you have something specific you could offer to your loved one that would make their life a little easier as they deal with the impact of their loss. For instance, maybe you work in financial services. Maybe you’ve met with a great financial advisor in the past. You could give them a referral to someone who can guide them through managing their loved one’s estate and making big financial decisions.

Perhaps you’re a great cook. Therefore, you can handle organizing a “meal train” to make sure that your loved one has plenty of food in their kitchen, even when they don’t have the energy to cook. Maybe you live nearby. In this case, you could offer last-minute childcare or pet-sitting if they need it.

Check in with your loved one to see what their specific needs are. Think about how you could use your skills to meet these needs.

3. Give Them Space to Talk and Tell You What They Need

Right now, your loved one is dealing with a wide range of complicated emotions. It’s not always to express yourself when you’re grieving, and many people shy away from intense and honest expressions of grief. Let your loved one have space to share their feelings, and don’t try to censor their emotions, even if you’re unsure of how to respond.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone who is grieving is simply sitting with them and listening when they’re in pain. You can ask what they need or just sit in silence, holding space. Being there is the best gift you can give.

Are you trying to support a friend who is grappling with a loss? Talking to a therapist can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.

Photo credit: cottonbro from Pexels

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