Support by family members, relatives and friends


For supporters

Family members, relatives and friends are among the most important supporters, because they knew the deceased well, and they know how much bereaved family members loved the person.

You may not know what to tell the bereaved family, or, you may avoid talking about the deceased because the sorrow of the bereaved make you feel sad.

But in many cases, it is better to tell them you are also sad and feel sorry rather than avoid talking about the deceased. Sorrows cannot be lifted, but listening to bereaved family and providing support for their needs can help them.

 

Several ways of support

 

1.Do not act as if the loss did not happen.

  • First, acknowledge the loss and grief of the bereaved. Ignoring it as if it did not happen can give them more distress.
  • Phone calls and sudden visits may become burdensome to the bereaved family. Instead, sending an e-mail or letter is one way to contact them without causing strain. You can inform them that you, too, are sad and that you are worried about the bereaved. If you know the deceased person, you can share your memories about him/her and tell them the way he/she was wonderful. In the end of the e-mail or letter, add the line, “Do not worry about sending me a reply,” and show your sensitivity.

 

2.Listening to them

  • Talking to someone who actually listens to you can be a great help. Expressing feelings such as sadness, anger, and suffering can ease anguish. However, sometimes talking about difficult experience becomes hard. When that is the case, do not force them to talk about it.
  • Each person deals with their loss differently. Each person has the answer of how to make a compromise with their sorrow. Respect their own way of thinking and answers.
  • If you sympathize and that brings a tear, you don’t have to feel awkward. Crying is a very natural behavior for both the listener and the speaker, and it is part of the recovery process. Also, it is natural to laugh while remembering the deceased. Expressing your natural feeling is a good thing.

 

3.Keep in touch with short visits, but over a long period

  • The consequences of losing a loved one can last months and years. The ones who have lost their loved ones will remember the deceased on each anniversary including their birthday and day of death. It is very helpful for others to understand that their grief may continue for years and provide support at such occasions.

 

4.Support for daily life

  • Losing loved one can pose problems for a bereaved family’s everyday life. First step of helping their daily life is asking what help they would like to have. Support can be given in many different ways, including going grocery shopping for them, cooking, taking care of their children, and undertaking necessary procedures for them.

 

5.Other things that can help the bereaved

  • When you see the person next time, tell him/her how sorry you are about the incident. The person may have been thinking about the incident over and over, and that is a normal condition in the bereavement process. In many cases, the bereaved often sort out his/her mind by repeatedly telling the same story.
  • Talk about the sadness of the bereaved as much as he/she wants. Also, talk about the deceased in the same way you did before.
  • If the situation allows, attend the funeral ceremony and memorial services.
  • Tell the person to take care of his/her own health. Tell them to eat well, take a rest when required, and when they have any health concerns, ask for medical help. For that, discuss what you can do to help, if possible.