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Friday, January 9, 2009

Cope

"I felt helpless," when my wife called regarding her father's condition and knowing that her father's passing is inevitable. "I didn't know what to do or say to make things better." Many of us are often faced with similar situations. What can we do or say when a family member or friend is faced with the death of a loved one? How can we support them through their grief? Open the line of communication by showing genuine sympathy, care and concern for the individual. Tell the bereaved you're sorry about what has happened and reassure them they will make it through this dark period. Forms of nonverbal communication are comforting. An embrace, held hand or even a sincere note can give the grief-stricken individual motivation to make it through a difficult day but we were 3000 miles apart. "The one thing I remember was my my wife's gentle voices embracing me, when my 90+ year-old grandfather passed away a few years ago.  There were no real words I could remember that she said but I do remember the gentle feel of her voice. Out of all the people I talked with during that time, her touch was the one comforting memory. Emotional support during this time is critical for the bereaved. Remind the person to be patient with himself or herself. As with any life changing event, healing will take time. Being a good listener is vital in helping an individual cope with loss. More importantly, allow the bereaved to express their feelings. Whether it's sadness or anger, showing emotions is the primary step in healing.

1 comment:

Robin Easton said...

This is beautifully and powerfully expressed. It touched me in a very poignant way. I feel like you have not only shared in a heartfelt way but a very honest and helpful way. Beautiful sentiments and emotions...right from your heart. Very moving.