Are your relatives grieving a significant loss? During this trying time, it can feel challenging to reassure your loved ones that everything will be alright. However, that does not mean you should not try.
Your support and comfort can make a big difference in your relatives’ ability to heal. Even though you might not be able to take away the pain, there are various things you can say or do that demonstrate you care deeply for them. Let us share four tips on how you can help your relatives overcome their grief.
1. Take note of what you say
When you see your relatives in a state of distraught, it is a natural response to offer some comforting words in the hopes of easing their grief. However, it is essential that you take note of what you say. Sometimes, your words can come across as insensitive to them.
Try to avoid saying:
- I know how you feel.
- He/She is in a better place now.
- There is a reason for everything. It’s all part of God’s plans.
- At least he/she lived a long life.
Some helpful words you can consider saying:
- You are in my thoughts.
- I am here to help in any way I can.
- Feel free to reach out to me for help anytime.
- I am sorry for your loss.
2. Lend them a listening ear
Often, your loved ones may prefer you to listen to what they have to say. Whether it is about their feelings for the deceased or reminiscing about their time together, sometimes all they need is a listening ear.
Occasionally, the conversation may get emotional and take a heavy toll on your relatives. When this happens, it is tempting to try and divert the conversation to avoid upsetting them. However, it is advisable not to do so as it will only make them feel like they cannot be honest with you. They may want to get their feelings off their chest, and talking about them may be their way of processing their emotions. Part of being there for your relatives means listening to them. If you want to help, make them feel heard and validated by lending them a listening ear.
3. Do try to reach out
The death of a loved one can upend a person’s world, especially when that person is close with the deceased. During such circumstances, it is challenging for the person to juggle arranging a funeral while processing his or her complex emotions. After all, with a variety of factors to consider, planning a funeral can get complicated. Whether the deceased wishes to have a Taoist funeral or Buddhist funeral service, these decisions require time and effort to execute perfectly.
If you find your relatives are in a similar position, you may want to consider offering your help in arranging the funeral. It doesn’t matter if you’re close to your relatives or not; reaching out can make a significant difference. Doing so can also afford them more time to grieve properly.
4. Offer practical assistance
However, oftentimes your relatives may feel guilty about troubling other people. Even when you do offer your help, you may find them turning you down. So instead of asking if there is anything you can do to help, try offering assistance that is more specific to their needs.
It can be something as simple as buying groceries from the supermarket or ensuring they have eaten their proper meals. If you are concerned that they might turn you down, you can go about things more subtly. Instead of asking them if there is anything you can do, try letting them know that you are in the neighbourhood and want to check in on them or that you have cooked extra portions of food and are bringing some over to share.
If you still have doubts about how you can help your relatives overcome their grief, the best thing you can do is communicate your intentions to help and try to keep it simple. At the end of the day, it is the thought that counts.
Should you find that you or your relatives are struggling to cope with the demands of planning a funeral, you can consider engaging the services of a funeral company. Allow our experienced team at 1Stop Buddhist Funeral Services to ease your burden by helping you with the necessary preparations so you can focus on helping your relatives heal after the passing of their loved one.