As I sit in my lovely office looking at the beautiful trees that surround me,
I am thinking about the many broken hearted people who are grieving, including myself. As we share our I Just Showed Up movement—teaching people of all
ages how to show up for themselves and each other so they are empowered and resilient when grief arrives—I want to share a few more tidbits.
When there is a funeral, celebration of life or tragedy, people Just Show Up.
Then life goes on for them. But for that grieving person, life is never the
same and they have to adjust to a new normal. And it’s hard. So I want to remind everyone to keep showing up for that person. Their grief journey has only just begun. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
Acknowledge and allow all feelings;
Sad, mad, depressed…whatever they are. If they want to talk, listening and allowing is the greatest gift you can give.
Don’t minimize or “at least” people.
“At least you can do this or that…” it is not helpful.
Don’t start telling your story as soon as they finish telling theirs.
In that grieving moment they just need to be heard.
Create that space for them. Be a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear.
Forget the Golden Rule.
Don’t treat people as you want to be treated, treat people as they want to be treated. We are all different, so… ASK! What is the most helpful thing I could
do right now? Maybe offer a choice; can I cut the grass, pick up the kids, bring you dinner, grocery shop for you. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
And if they really don’t know, just do something nice!
Forget the polite conversation.
“How are you?” “Fine thanks.” Let’s not say we’re fine if we are not,
or hope others do the same. Let’s allow our humanness and be real.
We all have very busy lives. It’s easy for the weeks to slip by and you feel
terribly that you didn’t connect with someone who has had a tremendous loss.
So…put reminders in your phone (or calendar). Call once a week and encourage others to do the same on different days. Of course grieving people need
space to grieve. But we need to keep checking in… for the first year. Then
re-evaluate after that! There’s not timeline!
So, Just Show Up for Yourself First,
and Just Show Up for the grieving.
Together we can help heal people’s broken hearts.
Yvonne Heath is Canada's Proactive Living Consultant. She is a Speaker, Television Host, Award Winning Author
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