Question: How to Encouraging the Grieving

    There is something I have been thinking about for a number of months and I have finally decided to take a chance and put my question out there for you. It is concerning grief and those walking that long, lonely road.
Grief is a private journey in some ways, there are so many emotions to work through and you and you alone are the only one who can do that for yourself. Then in other ways, there is so much that can be done to help someone bear that burden. So, how do we help, encourage, carry some of their load and walk this road with them?

To those of you who know this walk of grief, I have some questions.

“What were the best things someone has done or is still doing for you on this journey?
What were the kindest words said to you, the ones you still remember?”

It doesn’t matter if your journey started long ago or just recently, think about those portraying Jesus and walking along the side of you. What are some things that have been done for you that have blessed you?

Another question.

What are some things you wish had been done for you over the time of your journey? What were some things you wish someone had said or not said to you?”

Is there something that you longed for someone to pick up on? It may have been a small thing or a large project, but just something you wished a friend would notice and come along side of you and helped? Or something said that hurt deep down inside but you knew your friend had no idea what they were saying?

    To those of you who have not walked this road of grief, but have a close friend or relative walking it, I also have a question for you.

“What have you done, or seen someone do, for a grief-walker in your life that you know has been Jesus to them?”

How have you poured into the lives of the grieving and hurting around you? What was it you did that you know was a nudge from Jesus to help and encourage?

    I want to compile a post of ideas and things that will help friends bear the burden of those walking this long, lonely road. I will list ideas and comments in any particular order with no names attached. I want it to be something you can come back to, look over and pick something to do for a friend who is hurting.

    Write a comment and tell me how you have been blessed or been a blessing in a time of grief. If you wish to remain anonymous, send me a private message on facebook or email me at ericshan26@ymail.com
These ideas will by no means take away the stinging pain of losing a loved one, but in tangible ways, we can be Jesus to someone when it happens.

Share this post or ask your friends and family for their thoughts.

Isaiah-43-2

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14 thoughts on “Question: How to Encouraging the Grieving

  1. I love hearing people talk about dad!! Maybe just memories or what they miss about him or just the fact that they haven’t forgotten him. But even though I have walked or am still walking through this grief I don’t know anymore what to tell people who are just starting this walk than I did before. Thanks for your post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After losing our baby at 13 weeks someone told me “We’ll I guess you just need to think about people who have it worse than you do”. Sure I get that, but when your in the midst of hard grief, that’s not what you need to hear. And if you want to do something for someone, just be that friend and be there and let them talk and cry when they need to.

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  3. I have not personally walked the road of grief, but I have friends who have. I’ve often wrestled with the question of “how to best help/comfort” when I know nothing of the pain they are experiencing… So I will be anxiously awaiting your next post! In the mean time, something I like to try to remember is important dates…whether it’s the loved one’s birthday, anniversary, or another year since they’re gone. From my experience this is meaningful to the ones that are missing their loved one.

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  4. *Something that means the world to me is when someone mentions my Dad and shares what they liked about him and how he influenced their life. It shows that they have not forgotten him.
    * Friends that send flowers around the anniversary of the passing of our little girl. When friends mention her by name and share how they long to know her and what the envision her looking and acting like.
    * When people are grieving making food is one of the last things you feel like doing. I remember being grateful for all the food. But the one I think I loved the most was a gift card to a restaurant. We could go out and see and do something different and we could use it when we felt up to going out in public.
    * Take things like paper plates, toilet paper, napkins, tissues, paper towels etc to the house of those who just lost a love one. Someone did that for us and it was a gift. No washing dishes etc. When you have extra people around things like toilet paper is really nice to have.
    * I loved the people who came through the viewing for my Dad and funeral of our little girl who just hugged me, cried and said I am praying for you. At a time of sudden lost you can’t remember everyone that came, much less the things they have to say. But that warm hug you will remember.
    * Give the gift of a massage. It is so relaxing once all the stress is over with to go and have a massage. It seems like a small gesture but one I loved.
    * I hope everyone has that friend they can call or text anytime of the day or night that is always there for them in the first couple days, weeks, months and years after the passing of a loved one. Try to be that for someone.
    * As the years pass it seems like more and more people forget your loved one. It is actually harder in some ways as the years go on because it feels like you are the only one that remembers them. So try to reach out to a friend around the anniversary of passing or on the day that would have been their birthday, due date etc. Those are milestones that can be hard. Holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas etc are another good time to reach out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never experienced grief to this extent – I’ve had friends who have been on thru those hard things. I’ve been putting effort into learning how to be a better friend to someone who is experiencing this. Someone who has faced trauma and sudden death said to the rest of us “We assume that we know how we will grieve when faced with death and we expect everyone else to grieve that way. The truth is that no one knows how they will react or grieve.” (not exact words) This has been very helpful to me when walking alongside a friend. And also being ok with being, uhm, maybe I could say hurt by the grieving friend. In other words, understanding that they are hurting so badly that sometimes they hurt others unintentionally. So being willing to lay that hurt aside for the sake of the friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After the loss of our two daughters we had a couple people give us groceries/snacks in 31 totes. So thoughtful and I always think of them now when I use the bags. A couple stopped in one random evening with gifts for our children and flowers for Jeremy and I. We also received care packages in the mail with little gifts for the kids and snacks and candy. We were also blessed by an American Express gift card, restaurant gift card and Starbucks gift card all from the same person with a card stating that we are to use the AE gift card for a getaway. This was given right around the time our baby was due to arrive. I found that very thoughtful as so often we had intentions of going away by ourselves but it never happened because of work/money.

    I should also mentioned we were also very blessed by many with cash. We both found this thoughtful and caring.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would also like to mention that I got many cards/texts in the months following and I still get some. It’s very encouraging to get a card in the mail or a text.

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  8. I have walked a different journey of grief by becoming a single mom and sometimes reading posts like this makes me sad! I didn’t lose my husband to death but grieved just like it was a death and people don’t know what to do in situations like this so they do nothing. In that first year I would have loved for someone just to bring me a meal, help me with my 5 kids ( just to give me a little break since I had that responsibility 24/7) or just to come visit! I did have my family who took turns coming at least once a week for a year and not sure how we would have survived without that! I don’t want to hurt anyone with what I said but just a reminder that you don’t have to lose a love one to death to grieve! So if you know someone facing this type of grief now please reach out to them just like you would if her spouse had died!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really appreciated the people that listened to me the first year after our daughter was stillborn. Their listening ears helped me process my grief and shock. I really appreciated the few people who weren’t afraid to help me bear this messy, unpredictable burden of grief. I know my actions and responses hurt them at times but still they were gracious. This is the type of friend I want to be…but I fall far short so many times.
    Gift cards, groceries and money were also great blessings in the weeks and months following our loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. These are hard questions…after walking this journey for 3 1/2 years I don’t feel like I have answers. I don’t know how I would have survived without my dear sister who I could always be honest with and call spilling whatever I was dealing with.
    It means a lot to have people share a memory or just letting us know they haven’t forgotten Jared.
    Through our experience God has given me a tender heart especially for young widows.
    There is much more I could say…maybe that is what I really wish for myself, to be allowed to be real with my grief. To be allowed to still talk about it after several years. A mother never forgets.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for this post, Shannon! I look forward to it’s follow-up. Even though I know what it’s like to lose a loved one, I sometimes still feel at a loss in knowing how be there for a grieving friend because I know there is NOTHING that can fill that void. But yes, there are so many things people did to make me feel supported in the journey of grief.
    *During the first year, I had a friend who sent a little something in the mail every month about the time my mom died.
    *Acts of service during the first few months…. Meals, loaves of homemade bread, doing laundry, etc
    * I love when people share memories about my mom, as well as how she impacted their lives. I also means a lot when they share how much they miss her. Even now 6 1/2 years later it’s special, because I know they’ve not forgotten her.
    *I have a dear friend (you know her too and y’all have something major in common) who stopped in about every week to chat, have coffee, or lunch or whatever. I never had to worry about how the house looked or what she would think of me. It just felt so good to inhale that fresh air Karisa brought with her.
    * Do. Not. Judge. And don’t make assumptions either. If you don’t understand, that’s ok. Likely the grief-walker doesn’t understand themselves or the situation any more then you do. Just love and give grace.
    * It also felt really good to get out of the house for a day with a friend. It took too much energy to plan something or take initiative, but it was perfect when Karisa told me to come over for the day or we’d go shopping, etc.

    And then… Eventually we all have the opportunity to give back. I’ve found purpose in my grief to be able to give the same comfort that I have recieved.

    Liked by 1 person

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