GRIEF ETIQUETTE

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Death is never an easy subject to comprehend or navigate especially when it is unexpected
and tragic. In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, tragic news just keeps pouring in and we
are often in a situation where we have to express sympathies and convey condolences to
friends or colleagues. How do you express these complex emotions to a person who is so
deeply grieving? When is a good time to call? What should you say or not say? What can you
do if they cry or sob?

No one really teaches you how to deal with this most basic situation and its no wonder that
most of us dread or avoid a condolence call. And yet, we feel the pain and realize that at this
moment, it is most important for us to stand by our friends. Let me share some thoughts on
the important topic of grief etiquette
1. Reach Out and Be there: However difficult it may seem to communicate your
feelings to those suffering a loss, you must do so. Showing up (on a call or message)
is the only way we can communicate our sorrow and show solidarity. Even if the
bereaved person does not pick up a call, your missed call and message has touched
their heart and communicated your support2. Listen and Support: The bereaved may be numb with shock or overcome with tears
– in any of these scenario’s a listening ear and a shoulder to cry and support you
should be able to provide

3. Do not ask them details of how and why it happened: This is no time to satisfy
your curiosity about the details of the illness or the treatment
4. Do not compare the experiences with some other loss or say you understand
5. The words you say are not as important as the intent and yet be careful with your
words and choose wisely.
6. Telling them that their memories and goodness will live on and to have faith are all
good option.
7. Avoid asking them to Be Strong or saying the departed is in a better place is as
avoidable .
8. Instead, offer help, support them whichever way you can and assure them that you
will be there for them

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