How To Talk To Someone Who Is Grieving
Grieving is one of the more difficult parts of the human experience. Every single one of us goes through it at several times in our lives, loosing loved ones, family, acquaintances, and even pets.
To be honest, I look at grieving as another one of life’s lessons, a time to learn a new way. It is one that teaches us how to be in a world without someone we love. It guides us as we find our way to a new normal; it takes time and it does involve changes in our brains – to our chemistry.
The grief period is a very tricky, hard time. One’s brain is flushed with emotions, rushing through ‘what if’ scenarios, trying to let go of old habits while finding healthy new ones. It is common to be laughing one second, crying the next and then angrily acting out after. It is common to isolate or go in the opposite direction and totally behave irrationally. Grief is unique unto each of us.
But the good news is that the human bodies are designed to not only survive, but to thrive. We are highly adaptable creatures. And with a little understanding, maybe we can make this grief process a little smoother.
Stages of Grieving
There are 5 stages of grieving – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
They are in no way linear and each person experiences them unique unto themselves. It is also common to bounce around between them for a bit.
It is when you get stuck in one of the stages for more than a few months that we need to start worrying. Now that does not mean you should feel better in a few months, because honestly it can take years, that just means to keep an eye on your behaviors and if they are not serving you for too long, it may be time to talk to your doctor.
How To Talk To Someone Who Is Grieving
- Keep it simple, short and sweet.
- I’m sorry for your loss
- I’m here for you just tell me what you need
- They are at peace now and guiding you from above
- I’m here for you in any way you need
- Offer comfort foods.
- I know, I’m such a feeder, but during these hard times our bodies need to stay nourished and the person grieving often isn’t even paying attention to what they are eating.
- Be honest.
- People appreciate sincerity and honesty. Acknowledging this is a crappy time, that grief is hard. Don’t try to cheer them up, just sit there and be there crying or laughing with them as they need. Let them know you will be there however they need you.
- Share stories about the lost loved one.
- Encourage them to share memories, stories and photos about their loss.
- Be present.
- Be prepared for the range of emotions the griever will be going through and just be there to weather their needs.
- Remember there is no timeline here, patience will be in high demand.
Tips for the Grieving Process
If you are in the grieving process, here are some of Katie’s and mine best tips to help you mentally prepare and handle the journey.
- Accept some loneliness, but not too much. It’s a fact that there will be a hole left in your life for a bit. Accepting it helps ease the process.
- Choose good company to be around – it’s ok to say no and say when you have had enough.
- Be gentle and kind to yourself.
- Get extra rest and set a regular sleep schedule.
- Embrace all of your emotions.
- Don’t forget to exercise, keep your body moving as much as you can.
- Talk to your doctor, keep them in the loop about how you are feeling.
- Set daily goals, on a small level, to help focus you.
- Write a list of daily activities to help you reach your goals and stay on track – this helps with the brain fog that comes with grieving.
- Do NOT make any major changes to your life during this time, proceed with caution.
- Take care of you, mind your inner child, listen to your needs.
Join our conversation here on Conscious Straight Talk With Katie & Lindsey as Katie shares her healing grief journey through losing her father.
Sending you love,
Malibu Mama Loves Xx