Helping people do's and don'ts
It's certainly very difficult to witness a friend or a family member going through a hard experience like mourning. While in general everybody is different and we all react in our own personal way, there are basic principles and ideas that apply across the board.
- Acknowledge the loss.
- Care more about the person than your embarrassment.
- Be aware of how bereavement affects people.
- Encourage the person to talk if they want to.
- Acknowledge important anniversaries suitably and sensitively (deaths as well as births, weddings, etc.).
- Don’t minimize the impact of the loss (e.g. ‘you will meet someone else’).
- Don’t reassure when what is needed is permission to share grief.
- Don’t limit the time in which support is given.
- Don’t expect someone to be “back to normal” quickly.