Helping a Loved One Through Grief

By: Moles Farewell Tributes
Monday, June 3, 2019

After funerals at funeral homes in Bellingham, WA, you want to be there to help someone you love and care about through the grieving process, offering support, comfort, and encouragement. There are many tangible ways to do this in a way that will not cause offense or cause further hurt. 

Be there to listen, to hold, to comfort. You’re not going have a lot of answers for the questions that the person who is grieving is going to be asking, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with silence and a hug or holding someone’s hand. The most important thing you can do is to show up and be present for the person who is grieving. They’re not asking you to solve any problems. They’re looking for an empathetic ear and heart that will simply stay with them and not leave them. 

Here are some things you should definitely not do. 

Some people love to hear bad news and then overreact to the bad news by telling everybody they know about how awful the death was and how much pain the family that is grieving is going through. This is insensitive and it’s hurtful to the family. 

Don’t tag people who are grieving in photos of their deceased loved ones online. Social media seems to have taken away our sense of good taste and appropriateness with it’s wide-open, share-everything philosophy. Seeing someone we’ve lost pop up with our names tagged in the photo can be one of the most painful experiences when we’re grieving. Even if time passes, ask the grieving person if it’s okay to share a photo of the deceased and to be tagged in the photo before you do it. 

Don’t overdo the accolades and turn the deceased loved one into some kind of superhero. The grieving family knows their loved one was just as human as anyone else who’s walking the planet, and hearing nothing but superlatives to describe their loved one sounds fake and insincere. 

When you ask someone how they’re doing after the death of a loved one, don’t look for things in their answers to try to put a positive angle on what they’re saying. For example, if someone says, “We’re managing, but tomorrow we’re all going up to the old home place to scatter some of Dad’s ashes,” don’t answer with, “Well, that’s great that the whole family’s going to be together and taking a trip!” 

Never compare someone else’s grief for the loss of a loved one with your own. No two people will ever grieve exactly the same way and it feels dismissive when you bring someone else’s grief to your level, or, even worse, try to make your grief worse than their grief. You will probably lose a friend or an acquaintance if you do this because it’s painful enough to create a permanent breach in a relationship. 

Don’t avoid talking to someone who’s grieving. If you’re uncomfortable with their grief, at least make an attempt to let them know you’re thinking about them and you’re wishing them well. 

For additional information about grief resources at funeral homes in Bellingham, WA, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Cremations – Bayview Chapel is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can call us today at (360) 733-0510.  

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