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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow the bereaved some privacy. They need time for private
grieving. This is not to say to leave them alone for days or
- Visit the person's home frequently.
- If your going to help the bereaved allow them to decide what they
need done or if they want anything done.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- If the person has children, volunteer to take them to your home or
out for the afternoon.
- When you are going out to lunch or shopping remember to invite the
bereaved to come along.
- 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.
- If they need chores done around the house, don't be afraid to
volunteer your services.
- Pray, pray, pray for the bereaved and the deceased.