Death of a parent or a loved one is a sad reality that has to be faced by those who are left behind. It ceases life as they know it, and people transform completely when someone close to them passes away. Nobody else can understand the profound grief that one faces post the unfortunate event, and hence people who are dealing with the death of a loved one often feel alone in the world. Everything in the world seems pointless, and living again is a massive challenge, which mostly means fighting the grief inside and moving on in life.
It is important to be empathetic during this time, as this is when the grieving soul needs the most attention:
1. Let them know you are there for them
Since the person who is going through the pain of loss feels alone, it is important to let them know you care. And to reinforce that again and again. Even though they might not respond all the time, you still need to be persistent in showing you care
2. Do not tell them how to grieve, everything that they feel is real
Everyone has their own way of dealing with loss, and hence do not try to tell them what to do. You will do them a favor by acknowledging their emotions, and letting them know that what they feel is completely normal. Do not use words like ‘you should go out more often’, ‘you should write about it’, or that ‘you cannot always be so sad’.
3. Be patient and listen if they want to keep talking about it
People often stop sharing their sorrow if the people around them start losing patience. It starts killing them inside and is not healthy. Offer to talk to them about their loved one for as long as they want. Some may recover in 6 months, some may take years. If you start losing patience, it will hamper their healing process.
4. Keep asking how they are doing
When a loved one dies, people lose the will to live. Keep asking them how they are doing. Do not let them be on their own for long. Find different ways to talk to them so that they do not sink further. It might mean a lot of awkward silences, but bear with them. Soon you will gain their trust and they will start sharing.
5. Help them function
Offer to carry out errands for them. Functioning gets curtailed when the mental state of a person is in constant sadness. Eat with them, make sure they are not starving themselves.
If you feel that you cannot handle the sadness anymore, talk to a professional.