"I Don't Know What to Say!"
What to do When Someone is Grieving
“I don’t know what to say.” “I don’t know what to do.” “It’s so uncomfortable.”
Have you ever heard anyone say this or have you said it yourself?
When we are faced with someone who is grieving, deeply sad, depressed, crying… we just want to run away because we don’t know what to say or do. And yes, it’s uncomfortable. Imagine how it is for them.
Want to know the secret? The best thing to do? Lead with your heart and…
Just Show Up!! Just Show Up! Be Present.
There are no magic words, you can’t fix it and yes it’s uncomfortable. Show up anyway. You can tell someone you don’t know what to do or say but you care and you are there for them. Send a text, an email, a hug, or show up at the visitation when their loved one died. Buy them a coffee.
If they are crying, hand them a tissue. Be willing to sit in the sadness with them. A few kind words can make all the difference for someone in despair. Words are healing. Love is always the answer. Yes it is easier said than done. All of this is. You don’t have to do anything spectacular. Just be OK with being there, not trying to fix it, not trying to be brilliant, just be.
Here’s another great way to “Just Show Up”. Think of all the mundane tasks of life that still need to be taken care of, even when someone doesn’t have the strength to do them. How about walking their dog? Cutting their grass, taking out their garbage, getting a few items at the store for them? Call in neighbours, family, friends or volunteers to help. It takes a village…
We need to empower compassionate communities, by being there for one another.
How do we get better at this? Practice.
Lead with your heart, and Just Show Up.
Can you think of other ways we can “Just Show Up”
for the grieving, for the lonely, for someone who could use a kind word?
Thank you Yvonne s advice. I am often at a loss. This will make things easier.
6/14/2016 10:42:26 pm
6/15/2016 07:01:11 am
You are most welcome. We need to help each other navigate through this stuff. I'm learning too. It's never easy, but it's always better to "Just Show Up".
HI Yvone, yes just showing up matters. It is an act of kindness that can change someone's grievig process even for just a moment. Thank you ox
6/15/2016 07:57:08 am
6/15/2016 08:20:45 am
So true. It's amazing how much a kind word or small gesture can do. I've had people thank me for something I said to them years before in the emergency room. All I could think was, "thank goodness I said that!"
Thank You for your blog today. When my mother was dying of Alzheimer I traveled to Winnipeg to be by her side. She didn't know I was there but I'm glad I spent a couple of days before she passed. I was there but my brothers never made it. That's all I co
6/15/2016 09:20:15 am
6/15/2016 05:51:35 pm
I'm glad you showed up too. I would choose to believe that she felt your presence!
6/15/2016 10:31:49 am
6/15/2016 05:54:32 pm
Thank you for your comment. It helps me to know that my words ring true!
6/15/2016 11:00:03 am
6/15/2016 05:55:42 pm
You are most welcome! Amazing what comes out when you just listen to your heart! :)
6/18/2016 07:26:05 pm
Thank you Yvonne. These are wise words not only for people who are grieving, but also for people who are dying. And for everyone, really! I always appreciate your perspective.
6/19/2016 10:21:52 am
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Joyce. And of course you are absolutely right...words for everyone! We need to allow grief and be ok with its messiness. It's the only way to heal!
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Yvonne Heath is Canada's Proactive Living Consultant. She is a Speaker, Television Host, Award Winning Author
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