Monday, February 9, 2009

Encouragement

Today I thought I would send out helpful tips, as right now I sit here and my heart breaks for a former co-worker who just yesterday lost her daughter to cancer. I didn't know her very well, but my heart just cries all over as I know some of the pain and feelings she must be going through. I know how helpful some people were for Tom & I as we suffered through the stages of grief, but you never really understand them until you are walking in the middle of so much pain.

For a person who is grieving, encouragement cannot come too often. As a matter of fact, to a grieving person, encouragement is what really helps to get through those lonely times and gives a reason to hope again when tragic events can lead to despair.

Ways To Encourage & Support A Grieving Friend
~Sending cards is always good; especially after much time has passed and they
are not getting notes or things in the mail anymore.
~Emails while sometimes impersonal, can be a pleasant surprise & thoughtful
at anytime.
~Instead of asking for the griever to call if they need anything--chances are
they more than likely will not call b/c they don't want to be a burden; tell
your grieving friend that you will call him/her on a certain day at a certain
time. This gives your friend something to look forward to.
~Invite your friend to take a walk or go somewhere w/you. Give them a specific
day & time. Allow them to talk about their grief, joys, or anything else w/out
passing judgement.
~Mention the name of the person they have lost. You may think that it will
only make them sad, but chances are they were sad anyway & saying their loved
one's name lets your friend know that their loved one mattered and they were important.
~Some things that can be helpful are:
*Invite your friend to watch a movie, go out for coffee, or anything cheap
*Ask your friend to go w/you to run and errand
*Cook a meal together at your house or theirs
*Bring a meal or just dessert to your friend for no reason at all
*Set up a time to workout or exercise w/your friend
*Invite yourself to your friend's house to just hang out w/them for no reason
at all
Many things you do will help. Just make sure not to leave the planning up to your grieving friend. They already have SO much on their plate to have to try to remember to plan things isn't always helpful.

I hope all of this information proves helpful. For me the thought no matter how big or small is what matters most. It makes me feel ok to be this new self I am trying to get used to & not like I am annoying anyone w/ the emotions and time that grief takes.

I leave you with a verse that has come to mean a lot to me.
Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up on meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the day approaching.

1 comment:

PamperingBeki said...

I can't tell you how many times I've come back to this list to read it again.

It really is so hard for "outsiders" to know what to do, what to say, how to act... And I know from personal experience that when you're the one grieving and everyone pulls away because they don't know what to do/say, you begin to feel hurt and ignored.

Thank you for putting together such a well thought out list.