At some times in our lives we will all have to deal with grief and loss.
Grief is not always about death. It can result from the end of a significant relationship, the loss of a job or career, the loss of your home, or the loss of mobility from illness or an accident. These are all losses than can cause us to feel some form of grief.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve and no time limit. Some people will show their emotions publicly, others will want to grieve in private. However grief needs to be expressed.
So if someone close to you is grieving, what can you do?
#1 • Be there for them.
Sometimes this is all that is needed to know that your friend/partner is there supporting you.
#2 • Ask what you can do.
They may not be able to answer this but this lets them know that you are willing to help
#3 • Make them a meal or cup of tea.
People who are grieving especially in the early days and weeks will be in shock and normal tasks such as making dinner will be beyond them.
#4 • Listen when they want to talk about the deceased or situation.
This is very important as the person wants to keep their loved one alive in their mind.
#5 • Listen when you feel you have listened enough.
You may feel there is no point going over the same conversation and you feel helpless as you can’t do anything, however the person grieving needs to talk.
#6 • Do their shopping.
#7 • Clean the house or mow the lawns, anything that you feel is useful.
#8 • Offer empathy not sympathy.
Empathy is to imagine yourself in their shoes and how they may feel, sympathy is to feel sorry for someone and can sound bit patronising, although that is not what is intended.
What not to do or say
• Time heals all. This may be true and you may feel that it is helpful but generally it is not.
• They have gone to a better place. As above.
• I know how you feel. You may have last someone close to you however as we are all individual we will all feel differently.
• Talk about your own grief/loss
• You will get over it. At that moment they do not wish to know this.
• You should be over it by now. There is no time limit on grief and how long the process takes will depend on the person and the extent of attachment
they had to the deceased.
• You are being morbid. Definitely a no-no when all they want to do is talk about their loved one.
• You have to forget and move on.
My name is Helen Larkey. I offer Grief Counselling to the Northern Rivers District. No matter what sort of grief you are suffering from, my warm and empathic nature will help you to cope, and work through your grief, by supporting you in a caring environment.
For first time callers, I offer a free, confidential, 15 minute phone conversation.
My office is located at Suite 4/20 Byron Street, Bangalow, in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales.
Contact Phone: 0438 695 310
Mobile Service Area
I also offer a mobile counselling, workshops and speaking engagements to the surrounding areas within the Northern Rivers, including;
- Byron Bay
Telephone and Internet Counselling
I work with many people around Australia and the World via the Telephone and Internet.
Please make contact so that we can exchange details and connect.