By Irina Jordan
This post shares the highlights of the talk given by Lori Pederson on How to Support Loved Ones and Friends after Loss.
- Don't be afraid to reach out to friends who grieve. Smallest things and gestures are most important.
- Start out small. Say “I'm here for you.” Be available to listen. No act of kindness is too small.
- It's a new normal when you lose a loved one. It's a long process to work through your grief
- Listen, don't try to fix things. Grief is a natural process. Let your friend talk it out, let emotions flow.
- Be assertive. Express to you family what you need to do to work through your grief. Six months are not enough.
- It's natural to cry and grieve. You're not insane. Everybody goes through it.
- Find your support network and express your feelings openly to heal.
- Things not to say: Are you better now? Why aren't you over it yet? You can find another spouse.
- Instead of saying "Sorry for your loss", talk about some special memory about the one who passed.
- You are an expert on yourself. Don't transpose your expectations on others.
- Imagine if you lost a loved one. What do you want people to say to you? Say that to others.
- Acknowledge a grieving co-worker, don't avoid him/her. Ask what s/he might need.
- Listen to your grieving co-worker, don't start sharing long stories about losing your loved ones.
- If you make a promise to your grieving friend, keep it. Better not promise anything if you can't deliver.
- Find the way to keep moving forward, grieve your loss but be open to life.
- Grief is normal. Embrace it and you will heal quicker.