Right after you face the death of a loved one, many people come into your life to surround you with support and comfort. You receive a multitude of pre-made dinners, cards, phone-calls, home visits and messages within the first few weeks of your grieving. However, after a while, things slow down. People don’t reach out often. Friends stop asking you how your feeling. You feel as if the community that you had in the beginning has forgotten that you are still grieving.
There are many reasons why this happens. It’s not that people stop caring; most individuals just don’t know how to help with grief. It is often an uncomfortable subject that many people are not equipped to deal with. That’s why we offer our Christian grief counseling training – to give people the tools to support others through grief.
What are some reasons people stop reaching out?
1. People get busy. Life doesn’t stop when someone passes away. People still have to work, take care of their families, go to school, etc. After a few weeks of focusing on the loss of your loved one and how they can support you, they have to get back to focusing on their lives, their routines and their responsibilities.
Holiday grief can be especially difficult to go through for this reason. Everyone is worried about buying gifts, attending events and seeing family and friends. With their minds on other things, people may forget that you are grieving.
2. People become tired and uncomfortable. Grief can be ugly and time-consuming, and so addressing it for a long time can become uncomfortable. Your friends may run out of answers or things to say, and they may get tired of long conversations. It isn’t that they no longer care; they just feel emotionally worn out and as if they have already done what they can.
3. People may assume that you are doing better. When people know the person who has passed, it can be difficult on them like it is on close friends and family. However, after a few weeks, they start to feel better about the loss. Often times, people who are not as close to the person who has passed will assume that close friends and family have healed once they have.
How can you support someone in grief through this time?
Remind them that you are still there for support. Reach out to them weeks, even months after they have lost their loved one and check in on them. Listen when they need to talk. Their grief doesn’t stop after the donated meals are eaten or the gift cards are used up.
Here at Grief Care Fellowship, we offer Christian grief counseling training for those who need aid in caring for others through grief. We know that grief can be uncomfortable, awkward, sad and emotionally draining; but with the right tools, you have the ability to be someone’s support and comfort through their difficult time.
Contact us, today, if you have any additional questions about handling grief. You can also visit our website for more information about how to work through holiday grief.