A difficult element of the grieving process is being around people who say or do things that negatively impact the emotional well-being of a grieving person, even despite best intentions. It can be difficult for friends and loved ones to find the right words to show their support.
Here are some suggested ways to show your support for a grieving person, as shared by children and families at Tu Nidito:
• Give opportunities for talking; listen – really listen – and hear their needs.
• Sometimes no words at all can go a long way. Extend non-verbal supportive gestures, such as a hug.
• Avoid sharing opinions and comparing experiences with grief. No grief experience is alike.
• Remember that the grieving process is an ongoing journey, not an isolated incident. There is no timeline for grief.
• Avoid saying value things like “let me know how I can help”. Instead, offer something specific such as dropping-off a casserole, doing housework, picking-up groceries, or any other task that would be helpful.
• Provide ongoing support, even long after the funeral. Stay in touch and check in periodically.
• Show extra support on difficult days, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays.
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