Death is a natural part of life. A part that we can do our best to make peace with. Different people grieve and deal with death in different ways. Some close up, others grieve inconsolably, while others seemingly can’t get over it. When such times occur, there is a myriad of ways for you to console your loved ones and help them move on. Empathy, small gestures, or simply being there for your grieving relatives are great ways to help. If you are unsure how to approach such a situation or don’t want to stress about the choices, we are here to help.
1. Be the voice of reason and sympathy
Calling your loved ones in stressful times can mean the world to them. Maybe you are very far away, thrown by life’s volatile winds and can’t come to the funeral. Or maybe there is something else that’s preventing you from attending. Whatever the reason may be, you can always call them and talk. If you are unsure what to say, providing a listening ear is also productive and helpful. The simple gesture of calling and hearing your voice can have therapeutic value.
Don’t focus on the deceased relative, but on the person talking to you. It’s all about them now, and your voice, compassion, and attention, should be focused on them. Take your time and have plenty of patience ready. Someone’s life is radically changing. Any way they deal with it, you have to be the voice that supports it. Of course, if the grieving method is going in the healthy direction. If not, you should try to steer it back towards a healthy path. It’s what their deceased and loved one would want, after all.
If you are not good with talking or hearing your loved ones in grief, that’s completely fine. As we’ve mentioned earlier, people grieve in different ways. Don’t let grieving stop you from doing the right thing and helping your relatives. If talking or being there in person is not an option, you can always write words of compassion in a thoughtful letter. A letter lets you take your time and think about everything you wish to say.
Make it about the grieving relative, but focus on the great and good memories both of you share about the deceased. Think of your compassionate letter as a chance to say everything in your mind and soul to soothe your loved one. Such a letter can’t change what happened, but it can make a difference, with each word you write from your heart.
3. Attend in person
Human contact is invaluable in times of grief. We understand it’s inconvenient and unfortunate for everyone involved, but your presence can make all the difference. A grieving relative surrounded by loved ones gets reminded not all is lost. Seeing the entire family and close friends by their side will remind them that they still have plenty of reasons to live on. It will also show them they are in presence of love and not death. Their deceased ones would wish for them to be in no pain, and the more people gather, the more goodwill comes with them.
4. Flowers of sympathy
Gifts of any kind can show what words can’t. Getting a lavish and memorable bouquet of sympathy flowers will show how much you wish to help. Flowers are a tradition in such grieving situations, and they go along nicely. From the look to smell and presentation, flowers remind us of the cycle of life. Since birth, we grow and reach a certain flourishing age and stage. After that, we slowly wither and return to Earth in the grand circle of life. Flowers make us appreciate life in all its parts and help us make peace. You can include a photograph or a short letter inside the bouquet.
5. Gestures and actions
Actions speak louder than words, and your relatives need all the help they can get. Especially if they are old or have a medical condition. With the loss of their loved one, their life is irreversibly changed. That hole will take some time to heal and close up a bit, but life waits for no one. Daily chores and tasks will still be there, and you can do your part by stepping up and cleaning the chore list.
Grieving relatives appreciate anyone’s presence and help because they, at the moment, can’t pick themselves up, let alone the tasks at hand. You can do various landscaping chores, such as mowing, yard work, shoveling the snow or racking leaves. Or you can go grocery shopping with them. You can make that your once-per-week activity and be their company while you shop. If you are nearby and can drop in more often, you can help with house chores, as the list is never ending.
From washing, vacuuming, doing the dishes or helping with lunch, there are different activities to help and be there for your loved ones. Lastly, help them move and walk out of the house. It’s certain that inside, they are surrounded by pictures of their deceased partner. Also, the house will feel empty, and they will relive all the moments again. You can take them for a walk or outside in nature, to help them reconnect, heal and continue with their life.
6. Listening ear/presence
Talking, writing, gifts, and assistance are all great, but you can do seemingly nothing and still help. People sometimes overburden and suffocate their loved ones with care and affection. As many relatives will try their best to console or be there in these trying times, it can be overwhelming for the receiving person. When you notice such situations, you can sit beside them and listen. Staying awhile and listening to what they say, even if it’s just wanting and letting all that grief out, is therapeutic and healing. Being a went, a listening ear and a stabilizing presence for your loved one is invaluable as they wish to release all the negative feelings inside, but no one wants to listen. Your presence and silence will speak louder than any words ever could.
7. Sharing memories
Death tends to overshadow someone’s life. Remembering how your deceased relative lived and his life accomplishments can alleviate the situation. Reliving the highs, accomplishments, and awesome things they did during their lifetime will remind everyone that not all is lost. Thru their actions, they will continue to live on and inspire us to do the same. Actions and past deeds are eternal, so we should always strive to remember them by how they lived and what they did during their lifetime.
When you retell and relive the great moments you fight the present sadness. Everyone’s life is a grand adventure, and you were lucky enough to be a part of it. During grievous times, you can help by reminding everyone of such times and focusing their attention elsewhere. By focusing on the positives, you will give everyone a fighting chance against the negatives and help them move on.
8. Continuous reaching out
Good intentions should not end at the funeral. The deceased is laid to rest, but life goes on, and we must maintain an active part in it. Your grieving relative is left without the most valuable person in their lives, and will certainly feel alone. Some even feel abandoned, and angry at life because such a horrible event has happened. Isolation will bequests sadness, which can lead to depression. People feel like half of them are missing.
You can continue to be a stabilizing presence, and continue to socialise and interact. Sadness and isolation require at least two people to fight, where you can be the other ingredient. With all of the tips above, there is something you can do every day or at least couple a of times per week. One day can be dedicated to chores, others to outside activities. By being there for your loved relatives in their greatest times of need, you show how it’s not the end of the world.
Yes, something tragic has happened, but that will fade in time as you stick together. Family is more than blood relations. Affection and love are universal for human beings, and you can be the beacon of hope and stability until your relatives get back on track! You matter more than you think, and your actions can change someone’s world.
Death is not something we can fight or avoid. What we can do is fight the aftermath and do our best to heal and move on. By doing so, we show resilience and celebrate life. Life will go on, and we will be there to celebrate it! It’s what our deceased loved ones would want us to do, after all. Grief, sadness and hurt are all normal and to be expected. But by showing such emotions, we are celebrating our love, because only people who experience love can feel such strong emotions. Coming together, helping out and being there, shows our commitment to growing stronger and continuing our love for life!