HOW CAN FRIENDS HELP…
A BALANCE BETWEEN COMPANIONSHIP AND PRIVACY – The bereaved need time to reflect on their feelings as well as time to share their feelings.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS GRIEF WITHOUT EMBARRASSMENT OR JUDGMENT – An emotionally safe environment where the bereaved can open up and express feelings if they choose.
RECOGNITION OF THE MANY SYMPTOMS THAT MAY OCCUR AS A RESULT OF INTENSE GRIEVING – Loss of sleep, appetite, strength, motivation and inconsistencies in behavior are all normal after a loss. They resemble that which accompanies a serious illness.
SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE IN BECOMING SOCIALLY REACTIVATED – Someone who can assist them when they are ready to reenter a social world and someone who respects their need to reenter on their own time schedule. Provide an invitation with a clear indicator that refusal is acceptable.
SPECIAL ASSISTANCE WITH BUSINESS AND LEGAL MATTERS – Someone to help them think clearly to settle important issues and to plan for the immediate future.
ALLOW A FIRM FOCUS ON THE LOSS WITHOUT BEING MADE TO FEEL THEY HAVE A PHYSICAL OR MENTAL ILLNESS – It is often hard to watch someone you care about be in crisis or suffer a loss. Remember the gift of your acceptance is special.
ABOVE ALL, THE BEREAVED MAY NEED THE OPPORTUNITY TO TELL AND RE-TELL THEIR LOSS EXPERIENCE – An active listener can dramatically facilitate the healing process. Be patient and non-judgmental. Help them to draw their own conclusions. Sharing is healing.