Thursday, July 23, 2009

Helpful Do's & Don'ts for the Bereaved & Friends and Family of the Bereaved

For the Bereaved:

Do give yourself permission to not hurry your bereavement; it takes as long as it takes.

Do allow yourself to have a good time. You are entitled.

Do the rituals of purging the house when you feel up to the task.

Do take off the rings, when it feels like the right thing to do.

Do send out the thank you notes, when you feel ready to do this.

Do go out with your friends and socialize.

Do enjoy your life; you are entitled to do this.

Do develop single friends.

Do not worry about whether you are in the right place emotionally; you are exactly where you ought to be.

Do remember there are no “shoulds” in bereavement.

For Friends and Family of the Bereaved:

Do stay supportive of where the bereaved is emotionally.

Do restrain yourself about offering unwanted and undesired opinions.

Don’t tell your friends to give away the clothes until they are ready to do so.

Don’t offer advice if you have not walked in their shoes.

Don’t try to talk the bereaved into some other emotional place; be respectful of the emotional place they are in.

Don’t be judgmental and critical.

Don’t say, “Isn’t that a big house for you to be in by yourself?”

Don’t say, “Why don’t you move to a smaller place?”

Do recognize that the bereaved might be very comfortable in their home and want to stay there.

Don’t give “advice” unless you are asked.

Don’t make harsh judgments if you have no feeling for what the bereaved is going through.

From the book, The Healing Power of Grief: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter written by Gloria Lintermans and Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T.

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  • Great things to say! They echo a lot of what I believe about grief. It's our crazy Western culture that says that we should rush through these things, but we really do need to grieve and allow it to be a part of our life to find healing.

    Kim Carolan
    Author of Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

    By Blogger Kimberly Rose Carolan, at Friday, 24 July, 2009  

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