Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult. A kind word or a loving embrace can ease the pain, but more is needed to console someone who has lost a spouse or partner. They have, in many cases, lost their very best friend. There are no words or deeds that can make them forget their loss, but there are ways that you can console them.
Be there for them. It doesn't take a lot of words to console someone who is grieving. Often, a hug, a hand squeeze, or just your presence is enough to comfort them. If you must say something, a simple, "I'm sorry" or "I care about you" will go a long way in comforting them.
Take time to listen. Although it is easy to offer your condolences and move on, a person who is grieving the loss of a mate really needs someone to listen. They need to verbalize thoughts or memories that they are having about their lost loved one. Taking the time to listen to their emotions goes a long way in helping them to heal.
Encourage the grieving spouse or partner to express their feelings, even if they are speaking out of anger. Reassure them that it is okay to cry. Expressing their feelings helps in the grieving process.
Take the initiative in performing errands, preparing food, or providing care for any children that may be in the home. In this stressful time of their lives, a grieving spouse may be hesitant to impose their needs upon others even if you have told them you are available to help. Offer help in a way that makes it seem they are actually doing you a favor.
Continue to offer support. Often the gravity of the situation doesn't hit until the funeral is over and life returns to normal except without their spouse or partner. Since the grief doesn't go away overnight, offering support and friendship for months or years after the death helps the surviving spouse to cope with the loss.
- When consoling the bereaved, avoid telling them that you know how they feel.
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