Reply to Somebody Grieving In the course of the Holidays – TherapyTribe


It’s the Vacation Season a time to spend time with household and pals. Nevertheless, many individuals have misplaced a liked one this yr or they’re nonetheless grieving the misplaced of a liked from from final yr or the yr earlier than.  Grief has no deadlines on how lengthy it should final.  I’ve had many sufferers ask me how to reply to a member of the family or good friend who’s grieving particularly throughout this time of yr.  Folks ask me questions on grief as a result of our society has a really tough time with dying and grief.  We attempt to not talk about it and keep away from the subject.  Nevertheless given the very fact we have now had 612 mass shootings this yr and 110 shootings daily which contain one or two individuals, along with over a million individuals who have died resulting from Covid (CDC), there are thousands and thousands of individuals grieving throughout this Vacation Season.  Due to this fact avoiding the subject of grief is turning into very tough to do.

Whereas doing analysis relating to grief for sufferers who’ve requested me what to say to grieving individuals, I discovered this info from the grief middle. I feel it is extremely good info and really straightforward to grasp. Due to this fact, I’ll current the data in three sections.

The ten Greatest and 10 Worst Issues to Say to Somebody in Grief

Sheryl Sandberg’s put up on Fb gave us quite a lot of perception into how these in grief really feel in regards to the responses of others to loss. Many people have stated “The Greatest” and “The Worst.” We meant no hurt, the truth is the other. We had been attempting to consolation. A grieving individual could say one of many worst ones about themselves and it’s OK. It could make sense for a member of the clergy to say, “He’s in a greater place” when somebody involves them for steerage. The place as an acquaintance saying it might not really feel good.

You’ll additionally not wish to say to somebody, you might be within the phases of grief. In our work, On Grief and Grieving, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and I share that the phases had been by no means meant to tuck messy feelings into neat packages. Whereas a few of these issues to say have been useful to some individuals, the best way during which they’re usually stated has the precise reverse impact than what was initially meant.

The Greatest Issues to Say to Somebody in Grief

1. I’m so sorry in your loss.

2. I want I had the correct phrases, simply know I care.

3. I don’t know the way you’re feeling, however I’m right here to assist in anyway I can.

4. You and your beloved shall be in my ideas and prayers.

5. My favourite reminiscence of your beloved is…

6. I’m all the time only a cellphone name away

7. Give a hug as an alternative of claiming one thing

8. All of us need assistance at occasions like this, I’m right here for you

9. I’m often up early or late, if you happen to want something

10. Saying nothing, simply be with the individual

The Worst Issues to Say to Somebody in Grief

1. At the very least she lived a protracted life, many individuals die younger

2. He’s in a greater place

3. She introduced this on herself

4. There’s a cause for every part

5. Aren’t you over him but, he has been lifeless for awhile now

6. You may have one other youngster nonetheless

7. She was such individual God needed her to be with him

8. I understand how you’re feeling

9. She did what she got here right here to do and it was her time to go

10. Be sturdy

Greatest & Worst Traits of individuals simply attempting to assist

When within the place of wanting to assist a good friend or liked one in grief, usually occasions our first need is to attempt to “repair” the state of affairs, when in all actuality our good intentions can result in nothing however extra grief. Realizing the correct factor to say is just half of the accountability of being a supportive emotional caregiver. We have now comprised two lists which look at each the GOOD and the NOT SO GOOD traits of individuals simply attempting to assist.

The Greatest Traits

Supportive, however not attempting to repair it

About emotions

Non lively, not telling anybody what to do

Admitting can’t make it higher

Not asking for one thing or somebody to alter emotions

Acknowledge loss

Not time restricted

The Worst Traits

They wish to repair the loss

They’re about our discomfort

They’re directive in nature

They rationalize or attempt to clarify loss/li>

They might be judgmental

Could reduce the loss

Put a timeline on loss

The above info is supposed for use as a tenet. Everybody goes by means of the grieving course of in their very own approach. It is vitally necessary to grasp that time. Additionally it is necessary to recollect whereas the above is a tenet, an important factor is your intent. So if you happen to say a worse factor however you stated it out of affection the individual will perceive. The rule will hopefully make you extra snug to supply assist to your grieving liked one or good friend. As a result of somebody who’s grieving want individuals to speak to with out individuals feeling awkward.

Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist who has over 25 years expertise treating adolescents, kids, their households, trauma victims and first responders. For extra info relating to Dr. Rubino go to his web site or his Fb web page 



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