Monday, 30 March 2015

Six lessons we should all learn about grief

I wish, as I was growing up, I had learned these lessons about how to respond to those who are grieving:

  1. Acknowledge their loss.
  2. Listen to whatever it is that they want to say, even if it is hard to hear.
  3. Hug them – sometimes physical touch can speak volumes, and doesn’t require difficult words.
  4. Let them know you care.
  5. Don’t ever tell them to "cheer up," or "get over it," or say “at least …” 
    It won’t help, and it denies them their grief.
  6. Don’t dismiss their feelings, especially not to make yourself feel more comfortable.


  1. I agree. But I also think that I wasn't truly ready to embrace them until I lived through trauma. Strange how that works, huh?

    Great list!

  2. A wonderful list!
    A perfect companion for us all

  3. I agree with Cristy. After living through it myself, I understand grief so much better.

  4. A great list, and I completely agree. But yes, I think (unfortunately) you only really "get it" once you've been through it yourself.

  5. SO good. Yes, I wish others learned this. But I think I became better at sympathy/empathy once I'd joined this community ... I'm grateful for the lesson, painful though it was to learn.

  6. A simple list, a brief list, something that can be laminated and passed out in hospitals or at funerals. It could go a long way in changing the culture around grief.

  7. Great list! There is so much that can be said with a simple hug.

  8. It's all so true, and I think in some way, though I'm not exactly sure how, needs to be taught more rigorously in this grief averse culture of ours.

  9. Perfect, perfect list. One I'll definitely reflect on when I'm trying to make sure I'm properly supporting others.