Ways you can be comforting your loved ones!
Firstly, give them space! They don’t want someone constantly trying to be there for them. Although it might seem they need that kind of comfort. The best way you can be comforting your loved ones is for you to just let them grieve. Don’t be judgemental if they don’t particular want to speak to you either. Some people just need that headspace to gather their thoughts before they see anyone.
Secondly, Whilst you take number one into consideration, you need to be able to recognise the five stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and acceptance. These all might not go in order. This is why you must not be judgemental. Comforting your loved ones can be difficult, however, if you follow the stages of grief you will know how to help them.
When they are in denial: Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Denial can be one of the longest processes as your loved one may not want to accept the reality of what has happened. You don’t want to pry them to accept it and stop hiding their feeling’s. Denial has its limits and they will break when they feel they are ready. Just be there by their side and try to keep them smiling.
When they are in anger: Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. It is when we stop living in denial and begin the acceptance. Let them feel that anger, it’s necessary to be angry because underneath anger is the pain, your pain. And you be must be willing to feel pain. During this stage your loved one may argue with you, they may blame you for what has happened. Do not be alarmed, do not retaliate to this anger and fight back. It will not help your loved ones. Let them release their built up anger. Show them simple ways to release their anger. Punching a pillow, or maybe just screaming.
When they are bargaining: Not all of us are religious, but sometimes we all pray. We all want to go back in time: find the illness more quickly, stop the accident or whatever has caused your grief from happening. This is a step back in the process to acceptance as we remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. Even if your not religious pray with your loved one. reminisce of the past and make it a positive look back.
When they are in Depression: Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. Feeling depressed is a lonely feeling and this is when your loved ones will need you the most. They will need your love and support. Give them a hug and offer you help in any way you can
The final stage is acceptance: Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes they are fine. They have passed through their grief and are now ready to accept life.
Continually checking up on them is a good way of comforting your loved ones. Send them a message on a morning or on a night and just ask them how they are. Ring them. Send them a card. Anything that you think will put a smile on their face that day. Ask them if they need anything.
Listen to them! They will have loads to say when they are finally coming out of their shell. No matter how much they ramble on, you pay attention to everything that they are saying. You listening to them is the most comforting thing you will do for them, they will know you care for them and they will know that there are other aspects of their life to be thankful for and look forward to.
If your loved one does not seem to be getting passed their grief, recommend some help to them. Whether it is seeing a counsellor or joining a group of people who have been through the same thing you have. Only recommend this if your loved one can’t mentally cope with the grief and you are worried for their safety and wellbeing! Otherwise, it could lead to them believing that they are doing something wrong, which they are not.