Is there such a thing as "good" grief? Grieving is a normal and healthy — although sad, part of life. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief is such a personal thing that we most often have no choice but to go through it publicly and when we see a friend going through it it is natural to want to help.
If you know someone going through a loss you might want to pick-up something consoling or inspirational from a place like Personal Creations, but just letting your friend know you are there for them is what will count the most. Sometimes the best a Bestie can do to help is hold their hand and help them breathe and realize that even though a life was lost, their life must and will go on.
Here are a few other things to remember during this difficult time…
Grieving Comes in Many Forms
It's difficult to know how to comfort a grieving friend or family member. How do you help them heal and move on? The real impact of a lost loved one is specific to that individual and the unique relationship that was shared.
The circumstances of a death can also impact the way one grieves. Was it an accident – sudden and unexpected, or was it a long suffering illness; were they home or traveling far away from home? Any emotional baggage that was attached to the relationship or the cause of death is left behind with the one who grieves and you will not always understand.
Sorting through the pile of emotion (and sometimes guilt) after a death can add confusion. Sadness, disbelief, and even anger are expressed in myriad ways, some can be unexpected. Taking cues and being sensitive to your friend's feelings is in order.
Depending on who has passed, your friend may find it to hard to be idle. Some need to keep busy, others need to slow down. The key is helping your friend find a healthy balance so that their body can also go through the grieving process. Losing someone takes more than an emotional toll.
If your friend inherited the task of sorting through a deceased loved ones belongings they may need your logistical help as well as a little muscle and moral support. Figuring out what to do with a bunch of stuff is hard enough, when the stuff has sentiment attached your friend may find it challenging to get through. With a great friend like you lending support they are better equipped to get it done.
When to Call in the Reinforcements
Be alert for signs of serious grief related depression. For some, grief is so overwhelming they cannot move through it. Instead, they withdraw from life and the people that are trying to help. In those times you may have to call in the reinforcements or try to seek professional help. You can also find local or on-line grief support groups.
It's OK to Leave Them Alone
There are times that someone should be left alone and they will know (and hopefully tell you) when those times are. Initially they will need your presence, but gradually they should be able to start functioning without you. Your life too does go on. Being a great friend in hard times means taking care of yourself also.