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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Ho

💙 5 Ways You Can Help When Your Loved Ones Are Grieving

Grief is always hard to undergo, be it the loss of a loved one, the loss of opportunities, or any unexpected results. When our loved ones face this pain, even if we want to help, it can be hard to find out how to help. So we compiled 5 Dos and Don’ts in approaching and helping close loved ones through their loss.

1. Do check in on them

Photo credits: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Many undergoing loss would draw away from social contact, trapping themselves in the grief of the loss. In doing so, they start developing unhealthy thoughts, such as blame, guilt and self-hatred, or unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, smoking and other vices.

While there is often not much you can do to physically help your loved one through this tough time, showing that you care about them and are thinking about them is often very helpful in reminding them about life after this loss.

2. Don't judge them for the way they grieve

Photo credits: Kulli Kittus on Unsplash

It's important to remember that everyone grieves differently, and the way one might express grief may be different from what you'd expect. Some cope with their loss through humour, some develop depression, some gain unhealthy habits. Unlike the common misconception that grief is linear, based on the often misunderstood Stages of Grief by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, some people may jump through the different stages or may experience multiple stages at once.

If you see your loved one going through grief again, don't see it as a step back, but a normal human reaction. Similarly, if you see your loved one reacting to loss in a way outside what you expect, it doesn't mean that they feel the loss less, but that they're trying to cope in their own way.

3. Do listen

Photo credits: Nguyen Dang Ho Nhu on Unsplash

While it is normal to want to help take the problem away to ease the suffering of the people you love, the most important thing you can do now is to listen. Much like the spa scene in Modern Family, where Phil Dunphy tries to offer solutions to Claire's problems (Season 2 Episode 17), these solutions are not what your loved ones need.

Rather, reassure them that their emotions are valid. Listen to their worries. If they aren't in the right mindset to talk about it, let them know you are there for them whenever they need you. This is especially important in situations like bad grades, where the instinctive reaction might be to assign blame. Instead, let your loved one work through their emotions, and keep supporting them.

4. Don't say platitudes

Photo credits: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Another reaction one might have is to offer platitudes like "I understand how you feel" or "they're in a better place". While meant to offer support, these phrases might not help your loved one in coping with the loss.

You could try to get them to talk about what or who they lost. When talking about the close relationship they lost, such as stories and anecdotes, they remember the relationship as more than the loss they felt. Instead, these relationships get memorialised and the road to healing gets started. Encourage them by asking questions, and engage actively in the conversation.

5. Do help them with the day to day

Photo credits: Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

When recovering from grief, many people facing loss may not have the emotional bandwidth or energy to care about day to day chores. You can help them out by making sure they're eating and hydrated, or by settling cleaning or any chores.

This takes a huge load off the shoulders of those facing loss. Ensuring that they remain fed and hydrated also decreases the chances of them falling sick, as the stress from the loss weakens the immune system of those facing that loss.

If you are grieving, or know someone grieving, and need additional support, don't be afraid to get help.

Avenues for Support

Clarity Singapore Limited

Confidential emotional support

Tel: 6757 7990

Operating Hours:

Monday - Friday (9am - 6pm)

Saturday (9am - 4pm)

Singapore Association of Mental Health

Manned by mental health professionals

Tel: 1800-283 7019

Operating Hours: Monday - Friday (9am - 6pm)

with Love, The Dateideas Team 🥰 Follow us on Instagram, Telegram & TikTok too!


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