Let me start by saying, I am by no means an expert on this subject, but as I have been going through my own grieving process, I have had some very helpful things done for me that I wanted to share. Many times, when someone you know loses a loved one, you don’t know what to say or do. You feel helpless, knowing whatever you say will not be enough and whatever you do will not bring their lost loved one back. Some people pull away because of this fear.
One thing that was the most helpful was just having people there to let me vent, cry to and sort my feels out with. They just talked me through my pain and validated it. They didn’t push their “listening ears” on me, but rather let me come to them.
I do what a lot of people do when coping gets hard; I “hole up”. Whether that is healthy or not, I think it is a pretty normal reaction to losing someone you care about. The day my aunt passed away, it felt so unreal. I felt like I was detached and like this was all a dream. My husband just let me cry. He held me and he tried his hardest to make my day good. He took me for frozen yogurt and dinner. He didn’t push me to talk, but he listened when I did.
I have had so many friends (I am extremely blessed!) both online and in person send me their condolences. Just knowing I am not alone and in other people’s thoughts and prayers really helped. A simple, “I am thinking of you..” note on my facebook wall or a message on my phone really made me feel loved and care for.
One thing I think that I should stress: Don’t be afraid to call someone who is in the midst of a personal crisis. I think many times, we avoid the uncomfortable silence of not knowing what to say by making excuses to not call such as, “oh, that person must be tired of hearing the phone ring by now, I don’t want to bug them..” or ” They must be busy, so I shouldn’t get in their way..” Please, just call. If I am busy or I don’t feel like talking, I won’t answer the phone, but let me tell you, the messages I was left in my voice mail mean so much to me. Just knowing that you cared to call is so powerful to a hurting soul.
In conclusion, I think the best thing a person can do for a hurting person in their life is to let your presence be knows. Just let them know you care and are there to listen. It might just g8ive them the strength they are needing.