|It could get difficult to know what to say or do when someone you care about is grieving someone else. Intruding in their personal life wouldn’t be such a nice thing to do; it would make him feel disconnected with you. Even though you are his best friend. This is not the time to ask him about the person he is grieving. There is little you could do to make things better for him in this situation, you may feel but that is not the case. You could still do a lot for him. While you cannot take away the pain from him or connect with him directly, what you could do is become his support. Provide him with the much-needed comfort.|
Just make sure you don’t let discomfort prevent you from reaching out to your friend. The discomfort of being not able to connect with him at the level of intense pain and difficult emotions he is going through could act as a barrier between you two. What you need to understand is that you do not need to have all the answers or give them advice or say and do all the right things. It’s your support; care and presence that will help him cope with the grief.
Let us first equip you with some tools to help you understand grief.
There is no such thing as grieving in an orderly fashion. No right or wrong way to grief. Most of the times it is going to be an emotional rollercoaster ride. Unpredictable highs, lows and setbacks are just one part of it. It may involve extreme emotions and behaviours – feelings of guilt, anger, despair and fear are common. They may even lash out to their loved ones. Don’t judge them at this moment.
There is no time limit up to which one may grief. So, you may never know how soon or how late is it okay to be normal again.
Now, what you need to say and what not in their grief?
Say something that empathizes with their pain and grief. Like “I feel your pain”, this is nothing similar to what you would say “I know how you feel”. You know why? Everyone’s journey is unique in their own way.
Give them free hugs. There is nothing more needed in a time of grief. And by free hugs I mean, just free hugs.
Be direct with them about your feelings tell them “I’m sorry for your loss”. It shows that you care.
Truth is that you cannot fix someone who is grieving that’s just not possible. Therefore, the most useful thing you could do is to be there for them. Say something like “I’m here for you”.
Don’t ask them to seek your assistance if they tend to need something. This is the most common mistake one makes, “Let me know if you need anything” instead say something like “I’ll bring you some lasagne next Tuesday”.
Ask them how they are doing and then listen to than what they got to say. Don’t interrupt, judge or give opinions. Be there with them and give them condolences. Saying nothing is the best option, just listen.
“So many of us are taught not to talk about our wounds. That talking doesn’t help, weeping doesn’t change anything, talking will make you just sad”. None of these statements is true. Talking about sorrow does not increase our sorrow; it purges our sorrow.