Grief is, by its very nature, a solitary experience. If you have a friend or family member who has just lost a loved one, their feelings are likely to be stronger. It’s never easy to know how to assist a bereaved person. If you have a friend or family member who has recently lost a loved one, you are likely to be even more at a loss as to how to assist them.
You could be worried about intruding, saying the wrong thing, or making your loved one feel even worse during this tough time. Or perhaps you believe there is little you can do to improve circumstances. That’s very understandable. But don’t allow your uneasiness to keep you from reaching out to a bereaved person. Your loved one needs your help now more than ever. You don’t have to have all the answers, provide all the advice, or say and do everything correctly. Simply being present for a grieving person is the most essential thing you can do. Your presence and support will aid your loved one in coping with the agony and eventually beginning to recover.
Here are few ways you can help a loved one who is grieving when you can’t be around them:
Express your Condolence
Despite the fact that you are geographically separated, the telephone may quickly cross the distance between you and your friend. If your calls aren’t returned right away, keep trying; a grieving person wants you to take the initiative. Tell your buddy that you will answer her phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and that you want to hear from her. When you do pick up the phone, listen more than you speak and avoid giving advice. Though well-intentioned, statements like “She’s in a better place” encourage her to speed over her pain. Simply remark, “I don’t know what to say” or “I can’t fathom how you’ve been feeling,” if you’re uncomfortable.
Help them Locate Support
This doesn’t have to be awkward, strange, or intrusive. Simply let them know that you’re always there to listen and support them in any way when you speak to them or text them. In case they need expert assistance, don’t shy away to offer or send that as well. Lookup for online assistance near them such as funeral services, freezer box for dead body, transportation in case of a death. Other than that, even look for grief counsellors or online support groups. Compile a list of services or assistance for them.
Consider Delivery Options
Apart from the calls, email or posts are the next greatest options for communication. Consider mailing a monthly card for a year; this would be greatly welcomed in the weeks and months after the loss when many people have abandoned you. If you knew the person well, you may consider sending a message of memory containing memories about the deceased in the event of a death. If you suspect your friend is struggling with day-to-day tasks, you might arrange for her to get practical assistance, such as food delivery or cleaning services, for a specific amount of time.
Know their preferred method of communication
As the bereaved person’s preferred method of communication. Because there are so many tools available these days, you should choose the one that they like rather than the one that you prefer. Download Zoom if they find it more convenient, even if you only use it with them. Go wherever they are if they use more of Facebook, Whatsapp, or whatever else. Any extra step might feel like an insurmountable barrier while you’re grieving. If you keep contacting them when they despise phone calls, or if you attempt to connect with them on Instagram when it isn’t their preferred medium, odds are they won’t feel supported.
Send Sympathy Gifts
Support may be given in a variety of ways, including written letters and phone conversations. Taking the initiative to assist someone at work, remembering their loss even after it has gone, or simply sending a nice condolence gift may go a long way. Gifts are incredibly loving and meaningful when you get them from a loved one at the time of grief. If you’re seeking gifting alternatives, here is a compiled list of long-distance potential innovative ideas for caring for a bereaved person:
- A book of loved letters, a memento box, or a tree in a garden are examples of memorial presents.
- Grief books help them comprehend and deal with such situations.
- To acquaint yourself with grieving issues and motivation to keep going forward, use online resources such as support forums and grief blogs.
- Using a grief notebook to express your sorrow.
Watch for Signs of Depression
A mourning individual may feel unhappy, confused, isolated from others, or as if they are going insane. If, on the other hand, the bereaved person’s symptoms do not progressively fade—or worsen over time—this might indicate that normal mourning has progressed into a more serious condition, such as clinical depression.
If you see any of the danger signals listed below beyond the initial mourning period—especially if it’s been more than two months since the death—encourage the grieving individual to seek professional treatment:
- Functioning in daily life is difficult.
- Death is the centre of attention.
- Excessive resentment, rage, or guilt.
- Neglecting personal hygiene.
- Abuse of alcohol or other drugs.
- Inability to take pleasure in life.
- Withdrawing from the company of others.
- Feelings of despair all the time.
- Discussing death or suicide.
It might be difficult to express your worries to the grieving person without appearing intrusive. Instead of instructing them what to do, express your own feelings: “I am concerned about your lack of sleep—perhaps you should get help.”
Tribute the Deceased
In the event of a death, you might want to think of methods to pay tribute to the deceased’s memory. Often, a bereaved person wants to know that his or her loved one has not been forgotten as time passes. Donating to a non-profit organisation, planting a memorial tree, or having a quilt created from of the person’s favourite clothing items are all possibilities. At a time when your friend may be concerned that memories are fading, tributes like these indicate that the departed is still in everyone’s thoughts.