Grief is like fingerprints – everyone grieves in their own way.
― Radha Stern, Griefprints
1. Brace Yourself for the Emotional Challenge
Coping with grief or giving support to someone in sorrow is an emotional challenge. You need to prepare yourself for the toll this will entail from you. Know that this journey will not be easy. Considerations must be made. Adjustments must be met. The difficulties you might encounter will sometimes be too burdensome for you to handle. Being emotionally ready to overcome any challenge will give you the much needed drive to conquerany complications along the way.
2. Assess Your Physical Health
Aside from being emotionally prepared, you need to be physically sound in order to efficiently support someone who is grieving.Making the funeral arrangements after a death or watching over an ill person over a long period of time can be very distressing, especially if you a previous ailment.Can you handle the pressure? Pay attention your health. Try to get enough sleep, eat a well balance meal, or take food supplements and vitamins to boost your immunity.
3. Pray for Guidance
Prayer is the best weapon. Asking guidance from God that always works mysteriously with His grace when nothing else does. When we are at loss on what to say or do, praying to the creator will comfort our turbulent hearts, knowing that a higher power is leading us in the right direction, providing us with the knowledge, strength, and determination to help a friend in need.
4. Bring a Friend Along
Two is better than one. Ask another friend to accompany you. If you believe that visiting a grieving friend alone will be unbearable to you, bring someone who has a dependable strength, someone you know who is sensible and wise, on whose advice you can count on during this difficult time. Their presence will provide you the strength you need to cope with the situation when you think you cannot do it on your own.
5. Acknowledge the Situation
Acceptance is clarity. You might also find it difficult to accept that something so horrible could happen. Let go of the question “Why?” The sooner you come to terms with the truth, the sooner you will be able make an appropriate response to the circumstances. If you are initially too confused to assess the situation, allow yourself time to settle your nerves down. Your friend will need your strong, clear support.
6. Seek Advice
Every loss is different and unique for each person. You can never really know what it feels like unless you have been in the same condition. Get first-hand advice from people who have suffered through a similar situation. Ask them how they managed to succeedin overcoming the sorrow. The wisdom they have, together with their experiences will give you a better understanding of what your friend is facing. This will provide you invaluable insight on how to give comfort and right support.
7. Read Articles
Knowledge is power. With the advent of the internet, there are many sites that offer advices on how to cope with grief, along with insights on how to give support to people who are grieving. There is no right or wrong advice. Learn what you can. Familiarize yourself to the various difficulties in the process of grieving to be better equipped to support a friend in need.
8. Understand that Each Person Grieves Differently
Do not assume nor dictate how a person might react. Your friendmight cry out loud with anguish, trash out angrily, or sitsilently still in some corner. The grieving person may react remotely like her character so be ready to accept any unexpected response to sorrow. Also, do not them how or what they should do. Let them express their sorrow in their own way.
9. Show Your Concern
Approaching someone who is in grief can be awkward but remember that knowing that someone cares for us when we feel helpless, grief-stricken, and sad can lift up our spirit. Call them. Visit them or ask them to come over. They will be grateful for your concern and company even if you might not be able to give any advice or assistance.
10. Allow the Person to Grieve
Avoid telling them that they “strong.” This will put considerable pressure the person to keep appearances that they are doing well. Let them grieve for the loss. Allow them to feel the pain, sadness, and sorrow of the circumstances.
Please read all 50 Tips and learn more about this book:50 Things to Know to Support a Grieving Person by Lisa Rusczyk Ed.D.