How To Speak To Someone About An Unspeakable Loss

Many years ago, a family moved to a little town in New Zealand where they felt deeply connected to the community by the time they got a baby. Their baby was just three months old when the doctor noticed a heart murmur.

After 24 hours, the baby passed away. The mother of the baby went through a fog of grief while she was doing her everyday chores in the days that followed.

But, at the same time, her friends stayed away from her. They would switch market aisles, cross the street, etc. just to avoid her. They stopped inviting her to events, her phone stopped ringing, and she felt lonely.

But, after a while, all of those people apologized to her because they did not say a thing. They explained that their sadness and distress about her situation left them speechless.

Her loss as a mother was huge, and there was nothing anyone could say. Her friends were afraid that they would say the wrong thing. Sadly, these confusing situations happen very often.

A friend of yours may lose their love; a beloved person may get bad news about their health, etc. So, what can you say in these situations? Definitely, saying nothing is not better than saying something.

So, in this article, we offer you 5 ways in which you can help those who have lost someone they loved.

1. Control Your Feelings

At first, we feel shocked when we learn that someone has suffered a loss. We get a faster heartbeat, faster or slower thoughts, and we may even experience dizziness or nausea. The anxiety is personal, and it is real.

We first think we need to ignore those feelings, but that is a mistake. If you are in such situation, you need to manage your anxiety first in order to be capable of responding in a right way to the affected person.

To help yourself you should go for a walk, practice yoga or meditation, or talk to someone you trust. Before you try to help the person who is in grief, you need to make sure to help yourself first.

2. Focus On the Person in Grief

People who have lost someone feels isolated, and that is a huge pain too. If you decide to stay away from them, you should know that you are not helping them, they are feeling worse.

These people need support, comfort, as well as involvement. Of course, there are things that you should never say to them such as “I know how you feel,” or “Everything happens for a reason.”  You cannot know if there is a reason, and that cannot help someone in grief.

3. Accept That You Do Not Know What to Say

Admitting that you are speechless is a good start. You can try something simple just to break the ice, or you can at least send them a message just to let them know that they are not alone.

You can try saying something like “You are not alone in this, and I am really sorry you are going through it. I know there is nothing I can say to make you feel better. However, you need to know that I am here for you and I care for you too.”

4. Listen to What They Have to See

The most important thing you can do for someone that wants to talk is to listen to them. Make sure not to interrupt while they are talking, and please, do not say something like “I know the feeling, my dog passed away.”

You should not tell them what to feel. Just try to understand their pain and listen to them. We are all different, and we have different ways of coping with shock. Some of us are numb, and some are angry. Your job is to give them support.

5. Offer Help

Instead of saying to them that you can do whatever they want you to, you should offer them doing something specific and practical. For example, you can offer them to shop for groceries, drive their children somewhere, cook them a meal, or run errands.

You can ask them if they want to be alone for some time, or if you can call them the next day. You should not ask them how they feel because that is obvious, of course, they cannot feel great after a loss of e loved one.

You can, for instance, take a bottle of brandy and say something like “This is a disaster, and I am really sorry that it happened,” then, sit with them and listen to every word they have to say.

These people who experience loss they need comfort, a shoulder to cry on. They do not need someone to give them advice and to force them to do something they do not want. No one can fix what happened; you can just be there for them when they need you the most.

Disclaimer: does not provide medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. For more information, click here.