All of us have been in the position at one time where we saw a family or friend suffering through a loss. Maybe it’s the loss of a person, a pet, a job, a relationship, or their health. We instinctively want to help them, but we often do not know what to do. We feel helpless as we watch our loved one suffer.
I have learned a lot about loss from both sides: suffering the loss and wanting to help someone through loss. What I have learned is that everyone processes loss differently. Yet instinctively we want to help others in ways that we would want to be helped. And that’s not necessarily the best way. So I created a video about some different ways that we can help without being intrusive.
In 2012, I lost two of my beloved kitties: Sammy (on February 24, 2012) and Oscar (on November 24, 2012). And as the one-year anniversary of Oscar’s passing comes closer, I feel the sadness returning. I had time to prepare for the loss of Sammy and Oscar; yet when it happened it was like the world went on slow motion for me. My life as I had known it for the previous 12 years was gone. For me, I have always coped with loss by going within, being alone, healing in private. That often causes concerned loved ones to reach out to me even more; yet that causes me more pain. On the other hand, I know others who need to be with people when they are dealing with the aftermath of a loss. Having constant companionship and keeping busy is how they cope and heal. Two very different methods, and even more methods in between.
We are all different in how we handle loss and go through the grieving process. Here are 10 ways that you can help some through the process:
1. Ask how you can support them then honor their response. If they want space, give them space. If they want company but no talking, respect that.
2. Let them decide when (or if) they want to talk about what happened. They may want to avoid the topic and discuss lighter issues. Do not force them to talk about the loss. When (if) they are ready to talk, they will.
3. Limit how often you ask “are you okay” or say “I know what you’re going through.” When we are asked if we are okay, we naturally respond that we are fine out of politeness when the honest answer might be “my heart is broken and I don’t know how to go on with life.” And when we compassionately say that we understand what they are going through, we truly mean that. However, knowing that we all process loss differently, we really do not know what they are going through.
4. Send energy healing (distantly) to your loved one. Even though they may not consciously know the energy is enveloping them, energetically they will feel it and it will help them to heal. If you work with crystals, you could set up a crystal grid to send healing energy. I like to set up grids with Rose Quartz (to send love) and Apache Tear Obsidian (to help with grief). You could even set up a grid for the person or pet who has passed on.
5. Send prayers and good intentions their way. The energy of your positive prayers and intentions will reach them and give them comfort.
6. Donate to a charity in the memory of the person or pet who has passed. This is a way of doing something good during a time of grief.
7. Offer your help in nonintrusive ways. Such as cook dinner and leave it for your loved one, rake leaves, shovel snow, mow the lawn, pick up the mail and bring it to the front door. If your loved one is grieving privately, do this in subtle ways so that you do not intrude on their privacy.
8. Send a book that relates to coping with loss. These are some of my favorite books: Animals and the Afterlife, Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates, Dying to be me (a book about the afterlife), Grieving Mindfully, The Art of Extreme Self-Care, and The Tapping Solution (Emotional Freedom Technique to help process grief).
9. Send a card or a photo of the person or pet who has passed along with a memory that you have of them. It may become a cherished keep-sake.
10. And when you don’t know what to say, just send a card or tell them, “I’m here for whatever you need.”
It is natural to want to help when we see a loved one grieving a loss. When you ask them what you can do to best support them and honor their request, everyone will feel better. Just ask!
Allie is a unique combination of self-empowerment coach (Certified Law of Attraction Counselor and Life Coach), energy therapist (Usui Reiki Master-Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy Master-Instructor, and Advanced Crystal Master), award-winning book author, attorney and nationally-recognized animal advocate. Whether it’s wanting more freedom, creativity, loving relationships, financial security, wellbeing, relaxation, or adjusting to the energy of our new world … she looks at each person and animal holistically and creates a well-being plan. She holistically combines these methods to help people gain control of their lives and to help animals live with comfort in our hectic world. It worked for her and will work for you! She particularly loves helping our animal companions because for those of us who have them grace our worlds, they are our soul mates.
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