Friday, August 27, 2010
How do you help someone that is grieving?
HOW TO BE OF COMFORT
1. Don't desert. After the initial contact with the patient, there is a tendency to leave the bereaved alone and forsaken. If this has been true for you, question yourself as to why you did that? Was it out of concern that you might further distress those who have suffered loss? In other words, were you afraid that you might trigger another round of tears which can look like you are bringing more pain on them then they already have? If you realize that your presence is what matters not your words, you will hang in there and not leave.
2. Be a pathway. Look at your presence as a pathway to healing. And healing often comes through pain. The rule of thumb is the quicker and more intensely a person grieves, the sooner they heal. This rule does not negate a person’s will or choice. It just reminds caregivers that being with a griever and giving them permission to feel and express their grief, is what we’re all about. Don’t try and control the grief process, let it be what it will be.
3. Don't try to fix the pain. Bereavement is painful. There must be pain before there can be healing. The most difficult thing to learn about comforting is to permit the bereaved to live their own pain. It is one thing to sorrow with a person but quite another thing to interfere with their pain. We are not doing anyone a service by trying to take their pain from them. Nothing YOU can do will take away the pain.