February 8, 2024

Navigating Grief Together Part 3: Caring for Loved Ones in Times of Loss

By Mariah Kelty
Mental Health & Wellbeing

In the last two blogs (part 1 and part 2), we have explored what it looks like to navigate the complex and treacherous seasons of grief with loved ones. Thus far, this series has laid the foundation for what grief is, some common misconceptions, and how to emotionally support someone through presence, curiosity, patience, and validation. Each element is critical for entering into people’s pain without judgment or hurry, creating space for empathy and understanding for those grieving.

That said, after losing a loved one, the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities can become overwhelming as one begins to navigate the pain of the loss. So, you may ask, “what can I practically do to help my loved one who just lost a loved one?” In this last part of the series on grief, I wanted to provide tangible suggestions on how to meet someone’s needs.

Offer Practical Help and Follow Through

In times of grief, everyday tasks can become overwhelming. Offer practical help, such as cooking meals, running errands, or helping with household chores. People who are grieving can feel burdened by even having to tell people to help them, so if you see a need, fill it! These acts of service can alleviate some of the daily stressors, giving your loved one space to focus elsewhere.

Celebrate and Remember

For those who are not grieving, there can be fear of bringing up their loved one and “making it worse.” However, oftentimes, discussing the memory of the person they’ve lost can be a healing experience, when in the right context. Create space for them to remember, talk about the person they lost, and celebrate their life. This can be through creating a scrapbook, celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, or simply sharing stories and memories.

Self-Care for You

Supporting a grieving loved one can be emotionally taxing. Make sure you’re taking care of your own mental and emotional well-being. Seek your support system, whether it’s friends, family, or a therapist of your own.

Encourage Professional Help

If your loved one’s grief is overwhelming and persistent, encourage them to seek professional help from therapists or counselors experienced in grief and loss. Sometimes, professional guidance can provide valuable tools and coping strategies.

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach; every person’s experience in grief is unique to them. Providing your time, energy, presence, and willingness can powerfully support someone as they navigate the throes of grief. It is not yours to carry alone, and here at Optimum Joy, our therapists are ready to provide a space to process and grieve with you or your loved one. Reach out today!

Written By

Mariah Kelty

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