Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy, although helping a friend through the mourning process is often looked upon as even harder. The good news is it doesnâ€™t have to be. Tony Pacione, a social worker and the director of behavioral health at Lutheran General Hospitalâ€™s Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, IL, offers a few simple rules to follow.
Those that are grieving arenâ€™t necessarily looking for advice or verbal support. More often then not, just your presence is enough. Offers to help notify friends and family of services or memorials are often appreciated. Volunteering to assist in things construed as routine, such as house, pet, or child sitting can also go a long way. Itâ€™s also a good idea to prepare yourself for uncharacteristic reactions of anger, for this often accompanies grief. As time passes, volunteer to join the grieving in rituals that celebrate the life of the deceased, such as monthly visits to the grave site.
Most importantly, DONâ€™T impose religious views upon the grieving. Statements such as â€œTheyâ€™re better off in heaven,â€ or â€œit was Godâ€™s will,â€ donâ€™t add any degree of comfort. And never, ever dismiss or denounce the death as if itâ€™s a minor or manageable thing by saying things like, â€œYou can always have another child,â€ or â€œAt least you still have your mother.â€ Above all else, just simply let the grieving know that youâ€™re there for their benefit and support.