At Lighting The Way, my mission is to help people process grief in a healthy way, and realize they are emotionally stronger than they might think. As a grief recovery specialist in Colorado, I’ve used my resources and years of experience to create a safe and supportive environment for those who are navigating the emotions of loss.
I use the Grief Recovery Method to help people deal with all types of losses. Whether you’re helping your child navigate losing a loved one for the first time or you are experiencing a different type of loss yourself, I’m here to support and help you throughout the process. Unfortunately, loss is an inevitable part of life. Even though we’re all going to experience loss, sometimes we’re not sure how to help a loved one when they’re grieving. Hopefully, with some helpful resources, you’ll feel more confident in supporting them during a trying time.
What Is Grief?
Grief is our response to loss. Contrary to popular belief, people can grieve many types of losses, not just death. From experiencing a divorce to moving to a new place, there are over forty types of losses that people may experience in their life. While the grieving process is unique from person to person, it tends to follow a general pattern.
You’ve probably heard of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. While there is no set way of grieving and some people may experience all of these emotions while others don’t, people typically experience some form of each of these emotions while grieving.
How To Help Someone Who Is Grieving
When a loved one is grieving, it’s natural to want to do whatever you can to help them, but feel lost figuring out exactly what they need. You shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything extravagant. The most important thing for anyone grieving is knowing they have a support system and people who they can confide in.
- Send something thoughtful their way.
- When grieving, it’s extremely easy for people to feel alone. Sending a reminder that someone’s in your thoughts is a simple way to support them and let them know they’re not alone. Some ideas of what to send include a card, a home-cooked meal, a small gift box with self-care items and some staple home items. It’s common for people to want to stay home when they’re experiencing a loss. It can be immensely helpful to send things such as shampoo and toothpaste so they don’t have to worry about running errands.
- Be present.
- This may sound simple, but you might be surprised how much just hanging out with someone can help them during the grieving process. Whatever your loved one feels like doing, just be available to do it with them. Whether that’s watching a movie or cleaning up the house, having another person present during everyday, mundane tasks can lift someone’s spirits.
- Understand that grief doesn’t have a timeline.
- It’s important not to rush someone to “get over” their loss and “move on” with their life. Phrases like these are extremely hurtful and will most likely damage a person’s healing process. The grieving process is different for everyone, so be supportive and allow your friend or family member to grieve for however long they need.
- Remember special days.
- When a loved one is grieving, it’s important to not act like the past doesn’t exist. If someone’s experienced a death and you feel comfortable, bring them flowers on what would have been that person’s birthday and talk about the wonderful times you had with that person. If your best friend finalized her divorce, don’t be scared to bring up joyous memories like when you all went wedding dress shopping or couldn’t stop laughing the night of her bachelorette party.
- One of the most crucial ways that you can help someone who’s grieving is by listening to them. If they feel like talking about their loss for a couple hours, be attentive and courteous. If they want to tell a meaningful story a hundred times over, let them. They may not remember the details of the time they were grieving, but they’ll remember that you were there with them.
Learn How To Deal With Grief And Loved Ones | Lighting The Way
At Lighting The Way, my mission is to help people navigate through grief in a healthy and productive way. Whether you’ve lost a loved one or are helping walk a friend through their grief, processing a loss takes time. I’m passionate about educating people about the grieving process, and showing people how it can make them stronger and improve their quality of life. If you know someone who is dealing with loss, and would like to learn more about the ways that you can support them, please reach out.