Musings #4: What you Should probably do When a Friend is Bereaved😔
A lot of persons (like me) are usually confused and short of words when a friend or colleague losses a loved one.
Sometimes we do not know what exactly to say when we see them, how close will be appropriate, when it is appropriate to call or visit, whether to express sympathy or not at all.
Most times, we end up calling and talking about everything but the reason why we called (Death), we ask questions, how are you? And just try as much as we can not to mention the ugly incidence.
It’s really difficult, I know. Personally, I’ve not found it easy either.
I knew what challenge it was and realised the need to do what is at least moderately appropriate when someone is bereaved and I had to help myself. So here;
WHAT TO DO
• No time is appropriate to call/not to call. They're grieving and it doesn't matter what time you call, they'll still be grieving. So calling whenever you can only gives them the warmth and feeling of being surrounded by people that care.
• Show sympathy sincerely. Avoid emphasising embarrassing comments like eeyah, chai, eeyah, hewu, chai. Too much of it can be quite annoying. If you don't remember what to say, just keep quiet.
• Mourn with those who mourn. If you feel an urge to cry, cry.
• Send them texts, gifts and cards if you can.
• Be available
• Volunteer to help them run certain errands or do certain jobs.
• Don't avoid talking about the incidence. Tell them you heard of their mothers death (as the case may be) Remember, it is their loved one here, so mentioning it puts them in path where they feel free to talk about it with you.
• Call them even after the burial cos this is when the main grief begins.
• Be there for them, understand them. Some might become recluse after the incidence, still reach out, they're undergoing something.
• Pray for them
WHAT NOT TO DO
• Avoid unnecessary pity. Being bereaved shouldn't be part of someone's identity and hence shouldn't dent the normal relationship you had with the person. It will be uncalled for to always look pitifully at the bereaved or portraying them in a way that makes them feel unfortunate.
• Don't tell them that they are big boys/girls and shouldn't cry. Grief is real and it is natural that one cries when grieved. You're only there to support and comfort them and not to restrict them from crying.
• Don't tell them to get over it. There's no actual 'getting over it'.
• It's not usually a great time to preach about eternity and the reality of hell.
• Don't take advantage of their grief.
These are not words written on marbles, but I believe they can help.