Question 1: When will the pain of grieving end?
Answer: Society places pressure on us to get over our loss – to get through grief but how long you grieve depends on you. Grief is a normal expected reaction to loss but It could take 6 months, 1 year, 3 years….. Accepting the grief is a step and understanding that life must go on enables you to walk through the loss and this is what enables the healing to take place.
Question 2: How can I help my friend/relative who has lost her…….
Answer: The best way to help is to be there for them. Grieving people react in different ways but one thing they appreciate are people around them during the initial traumatic period. Also watch the words you use.
The Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief
1. At least she lived a long life, many people die young
2. He is in a better place
3. She brought this on herself
4. There is a reason for everything
5. Aren’t you over him yet, he has been dead for awhile now
6. You can have another child still
7. She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him
8. I know how you feel
9. She did what she came here to do and it was her time to go
10. Be strong
The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief
1. I am so sorry for your loss.
2. I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
3. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
4. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
5. My favorite memory of your loved one is…
6. I am always just a phone call away
7. Give a hug instead of saying something
8. We all need help at times like this, I am here for you
9. I am usually up early or late, if you need anything
10. Saying nothing, just be with the person
Question 3: How long will this go on?
Answer: The journey through grief is a highly individual experience. Rather than focus on a timeline it is perhaps more helpful to focus on its intensity and duration. Initially grief is overwhelming and people can feel out of control. With time people find they have more ability to choose when they access memories and emotions. The intensity of grief is related to the degree of attachment to the person, the type of relationship and other factors such as understanding and social support, personality and specific details of the bereavement.
Question 4: Sometimes I feel am going mad. Is this normal?
Answer: It will certainly feel like it at times! Particularly if the individuals need to grieve is out of step with social and cultural expectations. Grief affects people physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. People may be required to make adjustments to their lives eg, learning new skills, at a time when they feel least able to do so. Validation and permission to grieve are powerful comfort to a bereaved person’s experience.
Question 5: Do I have the right to inflict my grief on others? What can I expect of them and they of me?
Answer: Others will feel intensely uncomfortable with the emotion and the pain of the bereaved to the point of feeling helpless. The anxiety this causes may mean that the bereaved person will be avoided; further increasing the possibility of them feeling isolated or being avoided or they may wish to take over details to protect the person from further pain. It is important that the grieving person is assertive about their needs and wishes, and it is helpful if they communicate with family, friends, and colleagues rather than leave them guessing about what would be useful and comforting. Never underestimate the power of listening and being a warm presence. There are no magic words or actions. Trust your ability to care taking into account your relationship with the person you are trying to help.
Question 6: Is there a right way and a wrong way of coping with grief?
Answer: People are individuals with personalities and life experiences, which influence the way in which they deal with grief. People’s style of grieving must be respected and in this sense there is no right or wrong way of coping. However it is generally believed that the amount of support people receive can ameliorate some of the impact of grief and facilitate recovery. People often have an awareness about what they need to do to feel better but feel inhibited or judged and don’t act on their inclinations. Talking about what is happening, what they are going through, expressing emotion and existing in a supportive and accepting climate is generally helpful. Cultural factors may impact on a persons feelings of a “right” or “wrong way”.
Question 7: How can I cope now that the bread winner is gone?
Answer: It all depends on what the woman was involved with before the death of the loved one. After the initial grieving period, one must realistically begin to plan how to service. It all depends on the financial status on ground before the death also. If financially sound, then it makes things easier but if not, then one looks inward into the skills that the woman possesses.
Mrs Laila St Mathew Daniel