As the holidays begin to approach, it's important to consider those around you who have recently lost a loved one. It's hard to know how to offer support to a person who is grieving, but that does not mean that you shouldn't try to be supportive as they go through their first holiday season without the person they have lost. Not everyone grieves the same, and therefore knowing how to help isn't always simple. When you want to offer hope, encouragement and love, there are ways to let your loved one know you care.
Be Direct and Ask Your Loved One What Would Help
The best way to find out what someone needs during the holiday season is to ask. Let them know that you care about them, that you want to help them through the holiday season. Ask them what they think might help, and make sure that you follow through if they provide any suggestions.
When you don't know if a loved one has plans during the holidays, offer companionship. Whether you ask your loved one to join you for a family meal, for an outing to go look at holiday displays, or for an extended stay at your home, just knowing you are out there is going to help your loved one get through the holidays when they are feeling alone.
Take the Time to Sit Down and Listen
With everyone constantly running around, offering a listening ear can make a big difference to someone going through a hard time. Take time to spend an afternoon or an evening together, talking and listening to each other. As you have the discussion, try to simply listen and don't feel like you have to solve anything. Sometimes people just want to vent about what is going on in their life and they don't need advice or problem solving.
Offer to Help with Decorating
The motivation to decorate for the holidays may be at an all time low, but that doesn't mean your loved one doesn't want to have holiday decorations up. Ask your loved one if they want help decorating for the holidays and you may be delighted to learn that they simply needed a little motivation.
When one is grieving during the holidays, it's important to be there for them without being smothering. Keep in mind that some people want to simply embrace life and not want you to treat them any differently than before.
For more information, contact a local funeral home and ask to speak with someone who has experience in aiding grieving individuals.