Shoulder to Cry On: Tips on Helping a Loved One Through Grief

Posted August 18, 2022 by in Lifestyle
crop of woman in gray sweater holding a flower close to her heart

Life is full of many moments. For the most part, these moments are cherished memories that will be fondly remembered. However, there are those more heartbreaking moments, such as losing a loved one. Losing someone can be an overwhelming experience, with each individual experiencing grief.

The stages of grief can vary between each individual. Everyone processes the loss of a loved one differently, but there might be some similar experiences each person shares. When a friend or a loved one loses someone, we want to be there for them any way we can, but sometimes we are unsure how to.

Being a shoulder to cry on is one of the ways to help a loved one as they go through grief. Here are a few additional tips to help them during a difficult period.

Send A Thoughtful Card

Hearing the news that a loved one has lost someone can push people to start looking for ways to share their condolences. One of the most used ways is by sending a thoughtful card. It shows the recipient that you are thinking of them during this difficult time.

Finding the right words to say sorry for your loss can be challenging. Many do not want to write anything that sounds cliché. Instead, they want it to sound genuine and sincere. Look at the ‘sorry for your loss messages’ and guide on how to write a thoughtful message from Greenvelope. It could help you to write the ideal sorry for your loss message to send in a card.

Listen To Them

Allow your loved one time to grieve. If they ask for space, give it to them. Understandably, they might not feel ready to talk or to have visitors straightaway. Some will prefer to have time on their own. When they are ready to talk or to have visitors, be patient with them. As they initiate a conversation and are open about how they feel, allow them to speak freely without interrupting them. For some, opening up and talking with others might have taken a lot of motivation, and interrupting them could potentially cause them to want to be alone again.

Losing someone is a difficult time, and there is nothing that can be done to resolve the situation. However, being there for your loved ones, listening to them and creating a safe space for them to express their emotions and feelings can be valuable. It can help them to feel comfortable enough to be more open with you.

Offer To Help

After losing a loved one, many will want to help in any way possible. It is frequently said to someone grieving, ‘let me know if you need anything.’ This statement is said with genuine intent to help others wherever and however they can. Offering to do something specific, such as cooking a meal once a week, doing the food shop, or babysitting for a few hours, can be more helpful.

Some people might not accept a person’s offer of helping with anything, but they might be more enticed by something specific, like caring for their children for a few hours so they can run some errands. If you offer to do anything for a loved one, do it when they ask. It shows that you meant what you said, and they will appreciate your help.

Think About Your Wording

As mentioned, finding the right words to express your condolences can be difficult. You do not want to sound patronizing or say something that could further upset a loved one. Trying to be sensitive verbally can be tricky. Understand that some words and phrases a person might not want to hear. Some would rather you speak almost as a matter of fact, saying that their loved one has died rather than passed away or is no longer with us. Others might not be ready to hear these terms.

When you spend time with your loved ones, try to find out what they want to hear. Remember that each individual is different; for some, you could ask them outright about their preferences, and for others, you will have to figure it out yourself. Learning their preferred wording will help you avoid saying something that could potentially upset them further.

Be A Friend

Along with the things you should say, there is a list of things you should not say to someone who is grieving. Some of these could further upset them or make them feel like they cannot express their emotions. Instead, focus on what you should say and how to help when a loved one is grieving the loss of someone. 

The gestures do not have to be grand; the smallest act of kindness can be much appreciated. It shows that you care and are there for them. Be a friend and a shoulder to cry on when a loved one is grieving.

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