Grief is one of the most difficult and misunderstood emotions to deal with and face. It’s something that no one reacts to in the same way. One person may react with silent shock or even denial, while another may cry uncontrollably. No one can determine how much someone is grieving by watching their physical reactions. If a family member is dealing with grief, you shouldn’t judge them based on their initial reactions. What you should do is do everything you can to offer your support.
Understand that in grief, often one feels hurt, confused, depressed, angry, and/or guilty. Depending on the circumstances of the death, the grieving one may be in shock. There’s no time frame on how long someone can grieve, nor is there a “correct” way to grieve. When someone is grieving, they may react in ways or do things that seem unlike them. You should do all you can to be supportive to your family member. Listen to them if they want to talk. Sometimes all you need to do is listen. Don’t try to cheer them up with meaningless clichés such as “time heals all wounds.” Don’t minimize their feelings. There’s no one thing you can say. If they don’t feel like talking, that’s okay too. You can be supportive by sitting in silence.
Ease the Pain
Sometimes, the grieving process goes beyond the actual death. Family members are often burdened with funeral arrangements making the process more difficult. If the death involved an accident at work, family members may qualify for workers compensation benefits. In most states, the family would get a percentage of the deceased’s earnings. Professionals, like those at Bachus and Schanker Law, know that funeral and burial expenses may be included in these benefits. While family members may get these benefits, it could be a long process. Understand that this situation could make things more difficult. The death itself was a traumatic experience. Their grief may cloud their judgement and ability to make difficult decisions. Be there to try to take any weight off that you can.
You can run errands, take care of children, help with forms or bills, or just go with them on a walk. Any effort you make to ease pain will be appreciated.
Understand that grief is a long process. Loved ones may never fully heal their pain, but they will learn to live with it. On certain days such as birthdays or anniversaries, your grieving family members may have an even harder time.
Make yourself available if they need you, now and for years to come. Taking care of our loved ones is something we are constantly engaged in, it is not a passing thing. If we desire support during difficult times, we must express concern and show love, especially when it’s really needed.