Whenever a loved one dies, it’s helpful to receive emotional support from friends and coworkers to ease an otherwise difficult time. Celebrating the individual’s life, and the impact he or she had on others, can help a family move on from the death and get back to their daily routines.
When speaking with a grieving person, it’s important that you remain sensitive to their emotional state. Avoid saying that you know exactly how he or she is feeling since everyone deals with pain differently. Simply saying “I’m sorry for your loss” may be appropriate, depending on the type of relationship you have with the surviving family members and friends.
If you have a close relationship with bereaved, be proactive when you’re trying to support them. Offer sincere condolences, be willing to listen, and offer to help with specific tasks.
“I’m here for you”
Suffering a loss – whether it’s a spouse, child or sibling – can make the grievers feel lost inside; a person who was perceived as a foundation in their life gone. He or she may have never been alone before, and the reality of living without that individual can bring significant pressure and stress.
For these reasons, just letting them know that they have a friend they can turn to for emotional support can be very uplifting. They might ask you for help with something, or they might not.
Being straightforward with an offer might not seem like it’s doing much in the long-run, but it can ultimately let those in mourning focus on what’s truly important – the recovery.
“Let me help you with ________”
When it comes to consoling a person, one of the most basic things you can say is “Let me know if you need anything” since it extends the notion that you’re there for them. But how often does someone actually take you up on this offer?
Since this is such a vague statement, most people will just say “okay” and never let you know if they are in need. That’s why you should always make a suggestion regarding what you’re able to help with or do. If you see any opportunity to make a difference, let the bereaved know.
This can be saying something as simple as “Let me mow your lawn for the next few weeks so you can focus on healing” or “Don’t worry about grabbing takeout in between the viewing, I’ll make you and your family lasagna.”
“My favorite memory with your loved one is _____”
Some families prefer to celebrate the deceased’s life rather instead of mourning the loss.
Perhaps there’s no better way to get the grieving person thinking about the good times than by sharing a personal memory or story about the deceased.
It’s an easy and authentic way to show you care and also help the mourner celebrate the life that was lost.