The holidays are upon us, and many of us have friends and loved ones who are grieving. One of the hardest things about loss is knowing how to be a friend, knowing what do say, knowing how to help. The following list offers some suggestions regarding how to care for a grieving loved on this season.
- Share memories – happy memories, sad memories, memories of holidays past, memories of favorite traditions.
- Let your loved one know you are hurting too. Often those who are grieving feel very alone in their grief.
- Help find a meaningful way to honor the deceased.
- Allow your friend to cry, laugh – and leave when he or she needs to leave. Don’t insist they stay at the party, family gathering, etc when they just want to be alone. Don’t tell them to “cheer up” or question why they seem happy.
- Allow traditions to change. Don’t insist on doing things the way they have always been done.
- Allow your friend to say no – no to invitations, no to celebrations, no to company.
- Allow your friend to change his/her mind about parties, celebrations, traditions, and more.
- Remember that much of what a person does is a reflection of their grief, not of the holiday, or friends and family. Even though someone is hurting and may seem detached, they still love and care for their living friends and family.