Although a completely, natural part of life, loss is one of the most mind boggling experiences we can have as humans. With the rise of hospitalization, western culture has become so distanced with the process of death. This has left many of us not knowing how to process the experience ourselves and support others going through loss. Here are a few key things you can do to help support others who have experienced loss:
1)Spend time with that person: and keep asking, even if they say no! Trust me, they will appreciate the effort, especially as many of them will feel the void of the other person in their lives 2)Be persistent in reaching out, especially months later. This is when it's easier to forget that the person might not be through their process; and, often times this is when grief really sets in.
3)Ask about their loss. You can start by asking what has been the hardest thing for them. Then pay attention to how they respond. This will help give you information on how they need their own unique needs met. That person may love talking about their loved one who crossed over...or perhaps they don't want to mention it...but never assume one way or another, as each person's grief experience is unique.
4) DON'T say things like: “It happened for a reason; they are in a better place now; just give it time; or they wouldn't want you to be sad.” While these statements are well intended, they end up being dismissive to one's experience of loss.