From the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with Susan Coyle about how you can help friends and family if they’ve experienced a loss. Coyle is a bereavement counselor and end of life care manager for St. Charles Hospice in Bend, Oregon. “Be patient” is the number one tip Coyle can give people—because most people (who haven’t undergone a loss) don’t know what to say or do. You should also be patient with yourself if you’re the one who suffered a loss. Keep in mind that grief is a journey, and it’s one you may be on your entire life.
There will be a lot of up, down, forward, and backward, but with support and self-care, you’ll find a way through your grief. Even more important, you’ll be able to find grace and a positive transformation with some tough work. There’s always hope after loss, but it can be hard to pinpoint when you’re in the thick of it. Patience is a virtue, and it’s a must for those in grief.
You may not feel like there’s hope or anything positive, but there surely is. Time can help, and it always takes time to process grief. Some people think that just because it’s been one week or one month, it means they should be “over it.” Plus, you may also get told that it’s time to get over it. Losing someone you love isn’t something you ever get over. This type of thinking diminishes your feelings and memories, and does no good.
However, you can certainly get through it. Know that your friends and family want the best for you when they tell you to get over it. They simply don’t know what else to say, but you can teach them.