~~Do you know someone who has lost a loved one? Have you tried to comfort them and tried to search for the correct words? Why do we find it so difficult to talk about grief when someone losses a loved one?
I think it has to do with the fact that no one likes to see someone who is sad. If we do, our first reaction is to try and ‘fix ‘the situation and try to make them feel better. We forget that the loss of a loved one deals not only with the head, but with the heart. Grievers are going through an emotional experience because they have not only lost the physical connection with that person, but also the emotional connection. They are dealing with a broken heart.
So often you may hear people say:
“He/she lived a good life”.
This may be true, but no one is ready to lose a loved one. There are still more hopes, dreams and expectations we have for that person.
“You have to be strong”.
Is hiding our true feelings really the answer? Is this really doable? We try and hide the pain only for the pain to surface again.
“I know how you are feeling.”
No one knows how the griever is really feeling. You may have lost your mother, father, sister, brother or child just as the grieving person has, but your relationship with that person is unique and not like anyone else’s. So too the griever’s relationship with their loved one is unique.
“You should be over it by now.”
People think there is a time line to get over grief. There is no time line. Grief recovery is different for each person.
“You need to keep busy”.
Keeping busy keeps your mind occupied but it does little to help you deal with the emotional pain of loss. It just buries the painfor a while. When the busy work ends, the pain of loss is still there.
So what can we do to help grievers? Just listen. Let them tell their story. This builds trust with the griever and lets the griever know that you really care.