Grieving people need someone to listen, and all the care, encouragement and support they can get to help them re-establish their lives.
Some of their most important needs are:
- the need to feel SUPPORT
- the need to face REALITY
- the need to express FEELINGS
- the need to move towards RE-ESTABLISHMENT and GO ON LIVING
In other words, TO HELP A FRIEND IN GRIEF, we need to be:
- AWARE - working through grief is a normal and necessary part of life.
- THERE - we can't solve this problem, but just being around to listen and provide support will help.
- SENSITIVE - our friends have suffered a deep loss, even if we don't see it as such. We need to be there for them through their pain, not try to take it away.
- HUMAN- we need to allow our friends to openly express all their feelings without judging them. Nobody has to justify their feelings - they are quite normal.
- READY - to listen when the story is told over and over again. Talking about the deceased by name is a vital step towards recovery.
- PATIENT - mourning the loss of a loved one takes as much time as it takes.