If you have every experienced a loss, you know the process can be long and anguishing.  These guidelines are meant for either the bereaved person or his or her loved ones. 

There is no promise that their grieving process will be shortened by following these helpful guidelines.  But when a person has lost a loved one it's harder for them to cope with the loss with all of the pressures of everyday life to deal with and tend to.  

  1. Be there for them.  Offer your time, love and your services. Don't be worried that you will be an imposition.  It is up to the person to accept or decline your offer.
  2. Be there with a loving ear.  They need to talk about the deceased.  You don't need to say anything.  Just having someone close to listening is a huge comfort to the person.  Let them talk about the deceased as long as they want.  Don't stop them because you may be uncomfortable.
  3. It's not uncommon in the grieving process for a person to be angry with the deceased for leaving them.  Allow them to vent and be patient. What they are going through is a normal part of the process.
  4. If the bereaved is having a good day, don't assume they are over the grieving process.  Allow them to have their ups and downs.  
  5. Talk about the person that has passed over.  Let their memories live.  Remember the person wants to feel close to the deceased.  Talking about them brings them closer.
  6. Help the person to feel special and remembered.  Send them card and call often.  This helps them feel that life has not ended and helps them know they are loved.
  7. Allow the bereaved some privacy.  They need time for private grieving.  This is not to say to leave them alone for days or weeks.
  8. Visit the person's home frequently.
  9. If your going to help the bereaved allow them to decide what they need done or if they want anything done.
  10. Don't be afraid to cry or talk about the deceased in front of the bereaved.  It helps them to know their loved one was, and still is, special.
  11. Don't try to change the subject if the bereaved is talking about the loved one.  This does not help them get over their loss.  It only makes them feel uncomfortable and  suppress their feelings of loss in front of you.
  12. Don't push or instigate the bereaved to give away  throw away their loved one's personal belongings.  This is a very personal decision.  While some people are comforted by cleaning things out, others are comforted by having their possession close. 
  13. If the person has children, volunteer to take them to your home or out for the afternoon.
  14. When you are going out to lunch or shopping remember to invite the bereaved to come along.
  15. If you are going to help, make a commitment to yourself that you will be for them for the long hall.  The bereaved only experience another loss when after the funeral, (guests, cards and phone calls) if everything just stops.
  16. If they need chores done around the house, don't be afraid to volunteer your services.   
  17. Pray, pray, pray for the bereaved and the deceased.


Copyright 2000 Patricia Mischell & The Positive Living Center
 All Rights Reserved 

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