How to Help Someone Who is Grieving.

How can you actually help someone who is grieving? Today I want to walk you through the simple things you can do that will make a big difference for someone who is grieving.

There is so much grief happening all around us, many of us feel helpless and don’t know what to do. I’m going to break down some steps you can take to not only help that person who is grieving, but will also help you feel purposed.

So where do you begin?

The first step can seem very counterintuitive, but might be the most important.

You begin by listening.

When someone is grieving or even in crisis, we are quick to want to take action. How can I fix this? What can I do? Is this because we are uncomfortable to sit with someone in their pain?

Maybe they do need some kind of immediate action, or need met, but many times all that is required is silence, presence, and attention.

The power of listening to the grieving is like no other. Being heard is the beginning of processing and in time, healing. Listening is a quality we are severely lacking, but one acquired easily with practice. It may be uncomfortable and awkward to listen to others pain, at first, but it is so worth it.

If you know the enneagram, you might be aware that certain enneagram types are more oriented towards action, and others toward sitting with. The gut triad (8’s, 9’s, &1’s) wants to get things done, and make things happen. They are most likely to struggle sitting and simply listening. The heart triad (2’s, 3’s, & 4’s) May still want to do something about it, but not as intensely as the Gut numbers. Fours are particularly known for being comfortable with all feelings and especially those of deep melancholy. I would guess they might be the best at sitting with others in their pain. The Head triad (5’s, 6’s, & 7’s) would likely use logic to think through a solution, and sitting with would also be a struggle for these numbers, in general. To learn more about this read this post.

What else can we do to help someone who is grieving?

Be Present.

While listening is the beginning of processing and can be done in many ways, even over the phone, there is nothing like sitting with someone. Being present, begins a different kind of healing. While listening can free the mind, being present aids also in the grief the body holds onto. A hug can create a release. Being physically with someone supports them on a deep level. Sitting with someone in grief honors the person, their feelings, and who or what they are grieving for. You can cry with them, hold their hand, and be a safe place they can empty their grief upon. This will mean more than any gift you could give, or act your could perform.

Sitting with someone in grief may be best thing you can do.

How else can you help someone who is grieving?

Be Honest.

This might be surprising to include in a post about grieving, but many people are so uncomfortable around grief and death, that they talk themselves in circles instead of coming out and stating what they really feel. One thing that eases tension like nothing else is the truth. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say,” and “This is what I liked when I was grieving…” Honesty can bring lightness that is so needed in those dark moments. It also helps you feel like you can be yourself instead of trying to hide behind pretense.

Thoughtful Cards and Gifts

I don’t want to leave out thoughtful cards and gifts. Though they may not be the most important, there is still value in sending a card, flowers, or something that would cheer someone up. Not everyone can sit with someone, or maybe you don’t have that kind of relationship and a card would be more appropriate. The key here is putting time and thought into it, and adding personal sentiment. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what the gift is, but that time was spent in honor of the recipient. (looking for some gift ideas? check out our unique finds in the shop or inspirational books here)

The most basic gift that many overlook, is a simple meal provided for the family or whoever is left grieving. It is a relief and stress taken off of the grieving to not have to think about how to eat. Eating can be a challenge for many when they are going through this time, and something they forget to think about, so providing this is definitely a way to care for them. There are many ways to organize this now with the help of apps and technology that make it extremely easy.

Listening begins the process of healing.

I hope that this was a helpful post for any of you who are making an effort to be there for someone who is grieving. We need more people willing to listen, be present, and provide for the needs of others.

What did you appreciate most when you were going through a time of grief?

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