Things You Should Do to Help People Who Have Lost Loved Ones Recently
Every person is different with grief.
When you lose someone, it takes a little piece of you that you can never get back. I recently lost my aunt that I was very close to in September of this year. I still am having really rough days and times, especially with the holidays, and with people who just don't get it, understand, or don't worry about you when they should be. The list goes on and on, but I'll share a couple tips for helping that person.
1. Don't expect them to be fine in a couple of days, or even weeks.
See this was my friends' mistake. They expected that I was okay after a week, because they have never lost someone. You can't get mad at us for not wanting to go out or be around people. Don't be upset with us because we can't find the motivation to get out of bed anymore. We really are trying.
2. Check in on us.
Text us, ask us how our day has been, or how we are feeling that day. We may be a little snappy sometimes, but trust me, it makes it feel like somebody cares at least a little bit.
3. Listen to our signs.
We all give little signs, maybe even self-destructive signs that we aren't okay, and that we are reaching out for help. People just don't seem to get them. I told my friends that when my room gets really messy and bad, it's a sign I'm not doing well. This is because I can't find the motivation to clean, so I decide that I don't care, even if I might get sick easier because of it. Now, my room has been a wreck for months. It's the little things, the things that might be barley self-destructive, but we are trying to reach out, even if we don't know it sometimes.
4. Don't brush off what we say.
This generation uses jokes and memes to help cope, but listen and pay attention to those sometimes. Also, when we straight up tell you something, listen. I told my friends that my depression was getting worse, and they just said okay. That's not what I wanted. I don't know what I wanted, but I wanted them to show they cares somehow, or to find a way to get help.
5. Don't expect too much from us.
You can't expect us to easily help clean, or do chores when we can't even get out of bed. Don't say we never do anything and that we owe you. Don't call us lazy, because they are using all their strength to get out of bed, and to eat something. My mother always gets mad because I "Don't do anything around the house," when really I am the only kid that does. I'm already worn out and tired from school, work, band, choir, drama, planning my future, setting up online classes, and just trying to keep going on, and now you are going to get mad that I am so tired and complain about doing a chore when you don't ask the other kids to do anything? It just angers me and makes me feel like I'm only good for cleaning and running errands. We are trying so hard, so don't say it's not good enough.
6. When we are noticeably down, ask what's wrong.
When you can see that we are upset, ask us what's wrong. If we say we are fine, question us with a "really?" If we say yes, just say okay, and that if they want to talk about it tell you, text you, or call you. It really shows that you won't just shrug us and our feelings off.
7. Help us build and find our future.
This is just for certain people, but planning a future to love helped me cope really well. Don't let us think this is the end. Help them find their calling, and maybe a college, if they want to go. Help them plan trips, where they want to live, and maybe even find a hobby. Get excited and invest; give them motivation to push for the future, and it will give them motivation to drag on. We all know the loved one wouldn't want us to lose everything. They would want to see us thrive.
8. Don't smother us.
Everyone is different with how they find comfort, but if you are to be hugging us, we should be okay with it, because nothing is more suffocating when you're upset than an unwanted hug. Also, be able to have real conversations, not always about us being upset. That will keep us trapped in that upset mind forever. Give us our space when we need it.
9. Just listen to what we have to say and to the music we play.
Listen to the lyrics of our songs. It could help you underatand more of the feelings we can't convey. Music has a funny way of doing that. Also, if we are opening up to you, sometimes we just want you to listen to what we have to say. Never, ever say you know how we feel. No one knows how anyone feels. We may have experienced something similar, but it wasn't the same person, the same memories, or the same life. Don't ever say you know.
10. Help us build memories.
Go have fun still. Invite them to go one that trip, or to go swimming. Go do fun things, and it can help. Don't pressure them to go, but invite them, okay? Take pictures, laugh, and try to help them enjoy the good in life again.
Thank you for reading, and maybe try some of these out. They won't work on everyone, because everyone is different, but it's worth a shot.