It is so difficult to know what to say or do when a friend or family member has suffered a loss. We express our condolences, offer support, but we might also feel quite helpless. This is a time to know how to offer support that they can really use. This does not mean "fixing" what is wrong, because that is not possible. What is wrong is they are grieving and will need someone they can count on to help them navigate that painful process.
Understand Loss and Grief
One amazing way to support someone who is dealing with grief and loss is to understand the science behind it. For many years, experts have said that there are five stages of grief. They are usually described as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, and most experts also remind those learning about grief that love never fades or dies, it is simply that the living learn to cope with the loss in those five stages.
To help your friend or family member, simply remember that they are working through one or more of those stages. Don't tell them that, as they need to grieve naturally, but use your knowledge to offer the right kinds of support.
The Proper Support
There is a common error that people make when they are seeking to support someone struggling with grief. We mentioned it earlier, and it is that most of us try to fix things. We say things we shouldn't or do things that don't really help. With an understanding of grief though, you can recognize certain signs and you can just provide help with things that can interfere with their grieving.
Carly Simon sang that song "I Haven't Got Time for the Pain," and though that is an outdated tune, the sentiment should be considered. In the modern world, we can be so busy and full of so many pressures that we don't make room for grief. Simply supporting your friend or family member by doing household chores, helping with any funeral planning, doing some driving…these are incredibly useful and supportive steps.
Most of us are not thinking as clearly as normal when grieving, and especially during the first days and weeks after a loss. This is a time for a good friend to make helpful suggestions, especially with things like funeral planning or memorial decisions. One great thing to recommend is cremation jewelry. This is a unique way to ensure the person grieving has a tangible, physical remembrance of the person or pet they have lost.
While a keepsake urn is a common item chosen to store remains or use at an ash scattering service, the use of cremation jewelry pendants or memorial jewelry is a wonderful opportunity. It allows your friend or family member to retain a small amount of their loved one's ashes, or even something like a lock of hair. An urn necklace may not be something they are considering, yet if the ashes are scattered, they have lost their chance. Suggest the use of a necklace for ashes and see if this is a source of comfort for the one who has suffered a loss. Johnston's Cremation Jewelry makes keepsake jewelry and cremation jewelry available.