Our loved ones and even close friends form an integral part of our life. In one way or the other, we depend on them for our well-being and happiness. Their presence is soothing to us, keeping all our worries and doubts at bay. Deep down we know that if we fail in something, they will support us and become our guiding light. Conversely, our wins will be celebrated by them with the greatest enthusiasm.
The intensity of love we feel for them is mirrored in our sadness when they leave this world. No matter whether the loved one lived a fulfilling and happy life or struggled to survive, their going way is always jarring. Death is inescapable, and you might ignore this fact for your entire life, but once you see a person who dearly loved gone, it leaves a last mark on you. Becoming filled with melancholy is a common phenomenon for bereaved.
There is no definite time duration for a person to heal from the loss of a loved one. Therefore, you need to be careful when you are around him/ her.
Below we have complied a list of dos and don’ts you should follow while talking to a bereaved-
1. No complaining: - We often like to be consoled by our friends and family members at the time of facing any crisis or a difficulty in life. However, you shouldn’t complain about what is bothering to a bereaved.
The matter that is troubling you can wait, but remember they have had a permanent lost. No matter the amount of time that has passed since the death of their loved one, they might still be in pain.
Share your problems with some other friend. The bereaved need your support more than anything else. Be aware of their pain even if they do not show any signs of mourning the dead loved one.
2. Do Listen:- The best thing you can do for them is be receptive. Unless the person insists on being left alone, stay with him/her. Hear what they say without any judgement or interruption. Dying of a loved one can leave a person with a lot of unanswered questions. It is a life-changing event. Accepting the loss in itself is an overwhelming experience for them. They not only have to get used to the absence of the loved one in life but also process lingering sadness and emotions they have never felt before.
Letting out those emotions and expression their grief will less them to lift off the emotional baggage they are carrying all the time.
3. Don’t Ask Questions:- How did they died? Were they doing well in their last days? When did you got to know their health condition of grave? What caused the death? How are you doing? questions are asked so often that the bereaved can feel exhausted answering the same repetitive questions. Your focus should be comforting them. Unnecessary questioning will agitate them. This is the last thing you want to do isn’t? Before you delve into something personal, ask if they are comfortable talking on the topic. Go ahead only after they assent it.
4. Do Distract them – Life has to go on. At some point in life, the bereaved has to embrace the changed circumstance. It is a proven fact that negative experience / emotions stay in our memory longer than the positive ones. On recalling, a bereaved can easily fall back into the long-forgotten depression. Your goal is to keep them busy so their thoughts do not wander to the dying of the loved one.
Give them some tasks that interested them previously. Supervise them and allow them to follow what you do. For example, someone who is good cook should be asked to prepare a meal and help along for ensuring they stay on the track. The progress might be show but sooner or later positive distractions does show its impact.
5. Do Take them to a Therapist: - While you take every step to make sure the loved one is comforted and feel calm, it is a possibility that their trauma wouldn’t lessen with time. Medical intervention with help here. Talking to a therapist can help to restore their peace of mind, slowly bringing their life back to normal.
Conclusion: The immense amount of stress and sadness felt by a bereaved it incomparable to any losses we usually experience in life. Therefore, giving them time to heal and comforting them is important. We listed five actionable pointers in our post that will provide you a baseline to how you should interact with a bereaved.