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Grieving a loved one

Updated on February 2, 2014

I have seen death more than a normal person would through life. I work in an assisted living for seniors, but It doesn't numb me in any way, each person is so precious and memorable. One thing I have learned about grief is that you need to grieve, express your grief. holding these emotions in can cause stress and can affect the body. Let the waves of sadness rush over you and go-ahead and cry. This does not mean you are breaking down or "loosing it" "falling apart" or "going to pieces" this language has often been used, but they do not accurately describe grief because you are not "going crazy" you are Letting powerful emotions out. It is OK to cry. Another way to grieve is by writing your feelings down on paper. Write some of your fondest memories of your loved one. Writing poems about your loved one is a nice tribute to them or  you can write about how sad you are. Just  go ahead and let it out and grieve.

How to help loved ones grieve

  • Don't minimize their loss by saying the "AT LEAST He/She is etc. .It is OK if the loved one says it who is grieving, its their right.
  • Do Say I will miss He/She because.
  • Don't ask them, How are you doing? They are sad.
  • Do tell them, you are there for them, or thinking of them.
  • Offer caring words like she/ he will be remembered or I will fondly remember he/she
  • Share a memory with the family, if you can't talk about it write it down, and put it in a note.
  • Listen and when needed, hold their hand or put your hand on their shoulder.  Give them a hug and a shoulder to cry on. Just a simple offering of affection, does wonders for the soul.


Body language is a key to how you approach a loved one with affection. Sometimes actions really do speak louder than words, if someone has their arms crossed they are not comfortable. If they are using frequent eye contact they are comfortable with talking and paying attention. If they sit near you or walk to you that means they are opening the communication lines. A pat on the back 3 times signifies there now, be done now. One hand on the shoulder means you would like to talk more. If someone is in a wheel chair, make sure you are eye level with them when you are speaking, squat down or get on one knee. I use these signs daily in my conversations, with others to read the body. Many times when I see someone folding their arms I know when to move on to a different subject. when someones body language is telling me the communication lines are open, I just put my hand on their shoulder and say, " I am Here for you" then they talk a little bit and it helps them to heal. Grief is not what anyone wants, but in order to have a healthy life we have to get through it. 

 Hang in there!!


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  • mindyjgirl profile image

    Mindy 6 years ago from Cottage Grove, Oregon

    Thats the best kind of family Will, ones that help out :) You have been so supportive to me, thank you. I really like your western stories.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    If you don't know what to say, just make yourself useful. Pour coffee. Open doors. Escort older folks. Listen to grief. Offer rides.

    I did that once and was told later, "Thank goodness you were there!"