Everyone reacts to the death of a loved one differently. Each time that a loved one passes away is a unique experience. If someone that you know has just suffered a death, then here are some things you might want to keep in mind.
If you have experienced a very similar death, then you may think that you know how the person is doing. The truth, however, is that you do not know. Therefore, ask the person how they are doing. Take the time to listen to precisely what they are saying.
It is very acceptable to admit that you do not know what to say when someone has suffered a devastating loss. After asking the person how they are doing, sometimes the best thing that you can do is to be there. Many people find the physical presence of others comforting. Respect, however, if your friend wants some alone time.
People often ask what they can do at a time of loss, but most people think that people are just being friendly when this occurs. Instead, suggest things that you can do to help the person during this time. It may be picking up children from school, arranging a meal train, or taking their animals to your home for a few days while the house is full of visiting friends and family.
Sometimes people try to ignore that a loss has occurred when they are speaking to someone. Understand that the thought of the person who has passed away is never far from the individual’s mind. Therefore, acknowledge the loss. It is acceptable to use the word “died” and its derivatives.
Many times, after someone has died, there are many people around in the first few days. Then, everyone goes back to their routine. Make a reminder on your smartphone to check up on the person regularly. They will appreciate you checking on them, even if it just a quick text. Make sure that they still feel included in all your activities and are welcome to join you at any time.
Even if you have heard the story a million times, it is essential to be a great listener after someone has passed away. Telling the stories can be a very therapeutic way to work through the emotions that a person is feeling. Laugh at the funny parts. If you have your own memories of the individual, do not be afraid to share those.
If you notice that the person seems to be having a hard time getting on with their life, then you may want to suggest individual counseling in Orlando. You may even want to make a day of it by planning a meal ahead or behind the appointment and doing the driving.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.