BEST WAYS TO SENSITIVELY AND SUPPORTIVELY
acknowledge someone going through loss/grief.
Best things to say:
- I may not have all the right words, but I will be by your side.
- I am/we are so very sorry. We’ll be here for you for as long as you need.
- Go ahead and cry. I’m/we’re here to be with you.
- Our hearts are so heavy for you and your family. We are here for you and will help any way that you need us.
- I don’t have much experience with this, but I know that this is not easy. If ok, I’m going to do x and y for you these next many months.
- We are by your side. You are not alone during this difficult time.
- I knew your (mom, dad, sister, friend, spouse, colleague), and she/he could light up a room. I am so honored to have known her/him.
- We are so sorry about the loss of your ___________. Let us know if there’s anything we can do. Anything. We are your team, for as long as you need.
Best things to do/ask/acknowledge:
- Ask how they are then listen with your heart, “a heart with ears”. Just listen and validate. That alone is enough.
- When the griever can express and share their words and stories with others, this can be so comforting, soothing, energizing. Many people don’t ask this for fear that they’ll cry. Emotion is healthy.
- Acknowledge and validate their emotions, sadness, confusion, lethargy.
- Having some “light policy’s” around grief/bereavement leave, suitable processes, and support for staff during this time is highly recommended.
- Sharing a story about the person lost is a very honorable gesture during this time. We all want to hear how much they were loved or what they may have done for someone else. There is never too much of that to go around.
- We have a plan to get you through this next month, i.e. we’ll do your shopping; we’ll have meals delivered twice a week; we’ll mow the lawn this summer, we’ll do carpool for the rest of the year.