- 1 How do you comfort a friend who lost a parent
- 2 What is the hardest age to lose a parent
- 3 What do you do for someone who has lost a family member
How do you comfort a friend who lost a parent
How to talk—and listen—to someone who’s grieving – While you should never try to force someone to open up, it’s important to let your grieving friend or loved one know that you’re there to listen if they want to talk about their loss. Talk candidly about the person who died and don’t steer away from the subject if the deceased’s name comes up.
- And when it seems appropriate, ask sensitive questions—without being nosy—that invite the grieving person to openly express their feelings.
- By simply asking, “Do you feel like talking?” you’re letting your loved one know that you’re available to listen.
- You can also: Acknowledge the situation.
- For example, you could say something as simple as: “I heard that your father died.” By using the word “died” you’ll show that you’re more open to talk about how the grieving person really feels.
Express your concern. For example: “I’m sorry to hear that this happened to you.” Let the bereaved talk about how their loved one died. People who are grieving may need to tell the story over and over again, sometimes in minute detail. Be patient. Repeating the story is a way of processing and accepting the death.
- With each retelling, the pain lessens.
- By listening patiently and compassionately, you’re helping your loved one heal.
- Ask how your loved one feels.
- The emotions of grief can change rapidly so don’t assume you know how the bereaved person feels at any given time.
- If you’ve gone through a similar loss, share your own experience if you think it would help.
Remember, though, that grief is an intensely individual experience. No two people experience it exactly the same way, so don’t claim to “know” what the person is feeling or compare your grief to theirs. Again, put the emphasis on listening instead, and ask your loved one to tell you how they’re feeling.
Accept your loved one’s feelings. Let the grieving person know that it’s okay to cry in front of you, to get angry, or to break down. Don’t try to reason with them over how they should or shouldn’t feel. Grief is a highly emotional experience, so the bereaved need to feel free to express their feelings—no matter how irrational—without fear of judgment, argument, or criticism.
Be genuine in your communication. Don’t try to minimize their loss, provide simplistic solutions, or offer unsolicited advice. It’s far better to just listen to your loved one or simply admit: “I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care.” Be willing to sit in silence.
Why do we give gifts to grieving people?
When a friend or family member loses someone they love, it’s natural to want to comfort them in some way. Attending a memorial service, wake or funeral is very meaningful. Thoughtful gifts are also a significant way of letting the family know you’re thinking of them.
What is the hardest age to lose a parent
What Is The Worst Age To Lose A Parent – There is no worst or best age to lose a parent. At first glance, adult children may have the hardest. They have had decades to build close relationships with their parents. Saying goodbye to a lifelong confidant may leave a deep void.
However, although young children may not fully understand the permanence of death, their development may suffer from having lost an attachment figure. Teenagers often rely heavily on parents for guidance and support during adolescence. The loss disrupts their stability at a vulnerable time. Therefore, losing a parent is difficult, no matter when it happens.
Comparisons of grief can’t capture the uniqueness of each person’s experience. What matters is offering compassion and support to all who mourn. The severity of the loss depends on the unique bond between parent and child and the support received from others.
How long do people cry after losing a parent?
I want to talk about my partner, but others don’t – One of the things you may find hardest to cope with is other people’s reactions. Because people don’t know what to say, they often avoid talking about the person who has died, or the feelings you might have.
- When you mention the person, they may seem awkward or ignore the comment.
- This can be extremely painful, as it can feel like they are behaving as if the person didn’t exist.
- It can also feel very isolating, as you may feel embarrassed to mention the person, or ‘out of sync’ with the people around you.
However, your friend or relative was and will always be important in your life. You shouldn’t feel bad that you might mention them in conversation or want to talk about them. Sometimes other people will take their lead from you. If you talk about your friend or relative, or explain that it is important to you that everyone still talks about them, it can help other people know how to respond.
What makes grieving worse?
A typical reason grief gets worse at night is as a result of insomnia. Insomnia and grief often go hand in hand for many people. Grief can make it difficult to sleep or get quality sleep, and lack of quality sleep can, in turn, cause extreme distress and frustration, thus intensifying feelings of grief.
What do you do for someone who has lost a family member
Ways to support someone who is grieving – Harvard Health July 18, 2019 It can be hard to know how to console a friend or relative who is grieving. If it seems that nothing you can do or say helps, don’t give up. You can’t take the pain away, but your presence is more important than it seems. Accept that you can’t fix the situation or make your friend or relative feel better.
- Instead just be present and offer hope and a positive outlook toward the future.
- Recognize that grief is a gradual process.
- Even small gestures—sending a card or flowers, delivering a meal, helping out with laundry or shopping, or making a regular date to listen and offer support—can be a huge source of comfort to a person who is grieving.
One woman, a dog lover who had recently lost her husband, recalled her joy when a close friend went to the pound and brought her a basket of puppies that needed to be fostered for a few weeks. It’s important to be flexible and open to a person’s way of grieving.
- For example, if a bereaved friend or family member is coming to your house for the holidays, ask if you can do anything to help mark the loss during this occasion.
- Be willing to leave plans loose.
- Build in a loophole when you extend the invitation: “We would love to have you join us.
- You needn’t decide until the last minute, if you want some time to think about it.” Gently press a person to accept your invitation, but take “no” for an answer without ire.
Call the next day to check in. It is sometimes difficult to know what to say to a bereaved person. If you find yourself tongue-tied or uncertain of what to do in the face of someone’s loss, here are some ideas to help you.
Name names. Don’t be afraid to mention the deceased. It won’t make your friend any sadder, although it may prompt tears. It’s terrible to feel that someone you love must forever be expunged from memory and conversation. Saying how much you’ll miss the person is much better than the perfunctory, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Don’t ask, “How are you?” The answer is obvious—”not good”—and because it’s the same greeting you would offer anyone, it doesn’t acknowledge that your friend has suffered a devastating loss. Instead try, “How are you feeling today?” Offer hope. People who have gone through grieving often remember that it is the person who offered reassuring hope, the certainty that things will get better, who helped them make the gradual passage from pain to a renewed sense of life. Be careful, though, about being too glib, as doing so may make the bereaved person feel even more isolated. Rather, say something like: “You will grieve for as long as you need to, but you are a strong person, and will find your way through this.” This remark both acknowledges that there is no quick and easy solution and also affirms your confidence that things will improve. Reach out. Call to express your sympathy. Try to steer clear of such phrases as “It’s God’s will” or “It’s for the best” unless the bereaved person says this first. Your friend or relative may need you even more after the first few weeks and months, when other people may stop calling. Check in every now and then just to say hello (you may find it helpful to put reminders on your calendar). Most bereaved people find it difficult to reach out and need others to take the initiative. Help out. Don’t just ask if you can “do anything.” That transfers the burden to the bereaved, and he or she may be reluctant to make a request. Instead, be specific when offering help. Bring dinner over, pass on information about funeral arrangements, or answer the phone. Pitch in to clean up the kitchen. Sometimes your help is most valuable later. A lawyer might help answer questions about the estate. A handy person might button up the house as winter approaches. Assist with meals. Provide hands-on assistance with cooking, and volunteer to help with shopping. For many bereaved persons, particularly widows and widowers, it can be a big adjustment to get accustomed to planning meals, shopping for groceries, and cooking for just one person. Listen well instead of advising. A sympathetic ear is a wonderful thing. A friend who listens even when the same story is told with little variation is even better. Often, people work through grief and trauma by telling their story over and over. Unless you are asked for your advice, don’t be quick to offer it. Frequently, those who are grieving really wish others would just listen. It’s your understanding—not your advice—that is most sorely needed. Avoid judgments. Your friend’s life and emotional landscape have changed enormously, possibly forever. You may wish he or she would move on, but you can’t speed the process or even ensure that it happens. Let your friend heal at the pace that feels right and in his or her own manner. “You should cry” or “It’s time to move on” aren’t really helpful directions.
To learn more about ways to live with your own loss and grief or assist others in the same situation, read, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. image: © Dmitriy Shironosov | Dreamstime As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content.
What food to bring to a family who is grieving?
8 Tips for Providing Food to Those Who Are Grieving – Sympathy meals and comfort foods for the grieving are a great way to help a grieving person through a difficult time. Below we’ve offered recipes for sympathy meals as well as some other helpful tips about preparing comfort food for a grieving family.1.
- Cook A Nourishing Meal If you are going to cook a sympathy meal for someone who is grieving, a nourishing meal will be most beneficial.
- While it’s nice to cook desserts or other treats, a heartwarming meal will have a greater impact.
- If not desserts, you might be asking yourself, what food should I bring to a grieving family? There are plenty of nourishing meals to consider and we’ll discuss them shortly.
First things first, you want to bring a meal that meets the following criteria.
It’s easy to transport to the grieving family’s home. It requires little prep work to heat up and eat it. It can be easily frozen or kept for a few days so the family can eat when they feel like it.
There are plenty of foods that can be easily made and meet each of the requirements listed above. Hearty meals like casseroles, slow cooker meals, soups, and stews are ideal. This could include dishes like lasagna, pulled pork, meatballs, macaroni and cheese, chili, or chicken soup.2.
- Buy Groceries or Catered Food Not everyone is a great cook, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help a grieving family with sympathy food.
- Instead of cooking the food, buy a bag of groceries with foods that don’t need to be prepared.
- This could include breads, cheeses, and meats or fruit and vegetable trays.
Another option for families is to purchase some catered food for them. This could include one of the hearty meals we mentioned above or something simple like sandwich platters. Many grocery stores also offer pre-cooked meals that just need to be warmed up in the oven.3.
Invite the Family Over for Dinner Instead of bringing a meal to the grieving family, invite them to your home for dinner. You can still serve comfort foods for the grieving family, but also provide them with a reason to get out and socialize. Often when someone is grieving, they prefer to stay in and avoid interaction with others.
Inviting them to your home is a great way to spend time with them and offer the support they need.4. Be Mindful of Allergies and Dietary Restrictions Consider food allergies and dietary restrictions the family may have. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to ask.
- If you are concerned about any potential allergies or issues, provide a set of ingredients and the recipe with the meal.
- This means the family can review it before eating the dish and ensure there will be no issues.5.
- Schedule A Time to Drop By The last thing you want is to bring your sympathy meal to the family’s home when no one is present.
Before you plan to deliver the meal, reach out and ask when the family will be home. Ideally you would want to drop the food off at a time when the family can eat it when it is fresh and hot.6. Tell the Family You’ll Be Cooking a Meal for Them Notify the family that food is on the way, but do not give them the option to reject it.
- Oftentimes those that are grief stricken will complain that they do not need the help, even when they really do.7.
- Use Dishes and Containers You Don’t Need Returned Try to pack the food in containers that do not need to be returned.
- If you don’t have any, dollar stores and department stores offer affordably priced dishes that can be used for this.8.
Provide A Note with The Food A nice personal touch is to include a note with the comfort food. In the note, you can offer some condolences and any other important information the family should know about. This could include ingredients or instructions for reheating if necessary.