I lost a dear friend recently and it dawned on me more than before that people need to be more enlightened on how to help people who are grieving.
Losing a loved one is a big deal. It’s a HUGE deal. And if you don’t show sympathy to a person in a situation like this, then it says a lot about your heart.
In the past, people have told me how difficult it is for them to comfort people grieving. They said they just can’t seem to find the right words to say or know the right actions to take.
While I understand this excuse and I know that not everyone has the knowledge and eloquence to say comforting words, I still think it is selfish to be comfortable in that excuse and not do anything about it.
If you truly love and care for people, you’d learn how to send condolences because death is a part of life and there will always be a need to hold the hands of people and help them walk through the loss of a loved one.
Jesus says to mourn with those who mourn.
This is why I am sharing
Few ways to help people grieving.
I’m also sharing a few unpopular opinions about comforting people in grief.
Because people are different, situations are unique, and context is super important, I tried my best to explain these points well and you should understand them and apply them based on the situation before you.
Applying some of these points will also largely depend on your closeness to the person that needs comfort.
- Try placing a call through
This works especially if you can’t physically visit the person. Even though receiving calls may be the last thing on their mind, it shows that you care, and you’re concerned enough to reach out.
It will mean a lot them. People want to know that they are loved and cared for. Especially in times like this.
If they receive your call, don’t to hasty in your speech lest you say something off. Be silent, listen to them. Ask them how they feel, and tell them they’re going to alright.
The words may not make any sense at that point, but it’ll do something.
2. Send texts
This is a great one for people who are not good with words. You do not have to call. You can simply take your time to construct and send a thoughtful and kind text message.
Usually, what I do for people who are grieving is that I send frequent texts with words of consolation and reminding them to relish the beautiful memories they have of their loved one. I go a step further to send scriptures and comforting words in text messages everyday.
3. Don’t get upset when they don’t respond to your calls or text
I was very shocked when I got to know that people get offended when a grieving person does not receive their calls or respond to their texts. I think that that is rather selfish. Yes, calling a person who is grieving is a form of showing care, but you must also understand that people grieve differently. And times like that are times of sober reflection, and many times, deep pain.
When a person loses a loved one, the last thing they want to do is receive calls, or respond to numerous texts. Cut them some slack.
4. Find out if you can visit
This one would depend on your closeness to the person and other dynamics of the situation. If it’s okay to visit, don’t hesitate to do that.
Some people need and want people around them when they’re going through stuff like that. Your presence can mean a lot.
5. Pray for them
God heals and comforts. Praying for people who are grieving is not a waste of time. It is the best thing you can do for them at that point because, you can say a thousand words, but the person who really has the power to bring comfort and peace to them is the Holy Spirit.
6. Listen to them
This is not the time for you to show your excellence with words. If they want to talk and cry, be an open ear. Allow them to express themselves. Even if they say surprising things, understand that they’re in a very deep emotional situation. Listening to them cry is one important thing I must mention. Crying is very necessary for them to offload some of the burden and pain. Don’t be the comforter that tells them to be strong and not cry.
7. Offer to take them out, and Send them stuff they like, such as jokes, videos, memes.
This obviously isn’t for everybody. You have to be sure that this is something they’d appreciate. Even at that, this should only come when they have begun their healing process, and not when they’re still consumed in grief.
8. Don’t give unsolicited advice and opinions
There is no better time to bridle your tongue than now. Refrain from giving advice on how you think they should go about grieving. Even if it’s coming from a good place, it may not be received well.
9. Be available to help
As much as you can, if you want to help this person, be available and accessible. The person may have frequent breakdowns and may need someone to call.
They may also need help with practical stuff like laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and general errands. Having someone to do those for them would really help them.
These tips would help you become better at comforting people who are grieving. You can also say simple things like “I’m so sorry about your loss. How would you want me to help?”.
Generally, respect people’s ways of grieving. Do not impose on them, your idea or opinion on how they should grieve.