What to say when a loved one has grief – psychology

In sorrow and in joy, we are close to people who are close and dear to us. And if in moments of joy everything is clear to us, then in moments of grief we often fall into a strange state, we want to help, but we don’t know how.

We ourselves grieve and worry, we ourselves are in shock, but we need to support another. But as?

  • To tell: “I’m sorry” or “I understand you”.
  • Or maybe say: “Calm down, everything will pass”, “Everything will be fine”? Should not be doing that.
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A person in the acute stage of grief is quite irritable and even aggressive (regardless of whether he is aware of whether he shows these feelings or not). Yes, that’s right, he can’t believe that this is happening to him, he is angry that this is happening to him, the man is in despair.

It is highly undesirable to calm down, to make a person not cry or, even worse, to call an ambulance to inject a sedative (quite often they do this).

If a person does not feel this grief, does not survive it, it will remain with him, this pain will not “let go” of him, the person will continue to do so, remembering to fall into the same acute stage of grief as the first time, each time suppressing it state in itself.

There are cases when a woman who has lost a child is told: “You are young, you will give birth, don’t worry”.

It is better to remain silent than to say such things. You do not need to look for a way out.

Remember that your support is not about comforting the here and now, he will cry, he will grieve, this does not mean that you are poorly supportive and your presence is useless.

The purpose of your presence is presence, sometimes it is enough just to be silently near.

And what to say?

Be silent nearby, hold your hand, put your hand on your shoulder, hug. Tactile contact is very important. Feel the moment, the main thing is your sincerity, believe me, your loved one will feel it without any words.

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Depending on how close you are, offer organizational assistance, do not ask if it is needed – more often they refuse, list what you can and are ready to help.

Don’t be afraid of inappropriateness.

First, there is no escape from organizational issues. Secondly, it is highly undesirable to completely isolate the grieving person from this process, for example, farewell ceremonies, since they help to realize, survive, “digest” what happened to him. Gradually bringing him back to life.

When a loved one talks about the departed, his crying intensifies, his condition, as it may seem, worsens, often they immediately try to distract him, to change the topic, supposedly, if he does not cry, then everything is fine.

Support the theme of the one who is gone, do not be afraid, this will give that relaxation that people in a state of grief need so much, do not avoid this topic.

Another common moment, a person “turns to stone” in a state of shock and grief. And then everyone starts to praise him, say how strong and well done he is, that he is holding on, the person agrees “Yes I’m holding on”, tries to continue to “hold on.”

There are also those who begin to doubt the feelings of the grieving, they think that he does not care, in fact it is not. This is a protective reaction of the psyche to unbearably severe pain.

What to say when a loved one has grief - advice from a psychologist
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In such situations, this state should not be encouraged. Tell him / her that you can show your feelings, and whatever they are, you are ready to be around at this moment.

Then you can start a conversation about what the person was like, what you liked about him, etc., or ask questions: “What was he/she like?”, “How did you meet?” etc.

There is a very high probability that, while telling, your loved one will burst into tears – that’s great, that’s what we need. Emotional stress must find a way out – tears are the safest way.

Is it okay to cry with someone you support?

Yes, you can cry, you can’t fall into uncontrollable states. If you feel like you’re getting worse than your boyfriend or girlfriend you’re trying to support, it’s best to get out of there.

You cannot help in a state in which you yourself need help. Come back when you’re ready.

What should never be done?

Often, people trying to help raise their traumas and unlived grief. You should not dump it on a loved one who is not in the best condition.

“I also experienced such a loss” and they begin to talk about their grief (these are real cases, people actually say so), this is an indicator that their trauma has not yet been lived and experienced.

It is better to sign up with a psychologist, modern methods of psychotherapy help to cope with unlived grief in just a few therapeutic sessions. To help others, it is important to be emotionally stable yourself.

psychologist consultation
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Yes, we cannot change the situation, we can make it less painful. Sometimes they ask me:

  • “How can this not cause pain? What’s the point of helping if it hurts anyway?”

Yes, with time and with the right support, it may not hurt. There is a state called “Light Sadness”. And believe me, it is much better than constant mental pain, tearing apart from the inside.

The main thing is to remember:

  • Of all the negative states, crying is the most positive.
  • Everyone experiences the stages of grief at their own pace, it is important to give everyone the opportunity to live through them! An attempt to “jump” (pump up sedatives, or pretend that time has already cured, “let’s have fun” and the like) will only lead to getting stuck in one stage or another and, as a result, delaying the process of getting out of it.

I wish you and your loved ones not to know grief.

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