January 10th marked the 6th year anniversary of my dad’s death. He died from cancer. In addition to my dad I have lost an aunt, an uncle, 2 grandmothers, 1 grandfather (one died before I was born). For reference, I just turned 33 last year. It’s been…a lot. In addition to this there was a recent loss of a beloved pet in our family, too. The lost of a pet, I think, can be equally as bad as losing a loved one or even worse. So that is an important loss to acknowledge in others as well.
I try to avoid telling people in most situations that “I understand”, unless I really do. In the case of losing family members I’m going to say that I have a bit of insider information on that one. There are two parts to this article: what people who are grieving actually want you to do and a note to those who are or may be grieving.
To those dealing with the grieving
The worst thing that you can say to someone is, “Let me know if you need anything.” Honestly, they have absolutely no idea what they want and or need, including a shower, food, sleep or fun (Yes, I said fun, more on that later). Opt for something like “I am going out for dinner now, I’m getting sushi, do you want to come?” Taking the decision out of the situation is what is important. Also, probably more importantly, if they say no, don’t think they are saying no forever. It is important to try again at a later time, again with the same specific offers.
The most random situations, things on TV, songs, are going to trigger you. Just forget it if you randomly catch a picture of that loved one. There will be emotions and the person who is experiencing them will just need to go through them. The key thing that you need to do to support them is just be there. There isn’t even really a thing you need to do.
Anniversaries of deaths suck. Also, all the days leading up to them suck, too. If someone is a little off around that time, it’s probably understandable and this is one of those times to offer distractions and outs like mentioned earlier.
For those grieving
You are ok. However you feel is ok. If you’re crying, that’s ok. Eventually things will get easier but you’ll never forget your loved ones. For you guys, this is the best article that I ever read about coping with Grief: https://psychcentral.com/blog/coping-with-grief-the-ball-the-box/ So please feel free to check it out.
More uplifting stuff soon!
Thanks for contacting support. ❤