some advice when someone you love dies:

My dad died over this past weekend and it’s been an interesting journey over the last few days with lots of emotions, kind & gentle people along with some rough spots.  If you’ve lost someone who is close to you, or have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that have been helpful to me so far:

  • be gentle with yourself and others:  losing someone who is important in your life is hard so being tender and gentle is a necessary counter-point for this hardness
  • grief is illogical & doesn’t need to be justified:  the “why” questions and appropriate answers don’t help, at least not for me up to this point
  • time versus busy:  some people need activity and to be occupied with doing things while others need some space, but too much time or activity can lead to some bad results
  • presence:  what I’ve found helpful is together-ness, someone being present (but not necessarily chatty – smile)
  • encouragement:  let everyone’s encouragement, kind words and supportive efforts come into your heart;
  • God:  involve God at all levels;  grief and death are not the times to pull away from God

Are there more things that you’ve found helpful?  I’d be keen for your input

12 thoughts on “some advice when someone you love dies:

  1. Those are all very good. I might add one more- don’t try to “get over it” or “get better”. The process takes place “over time” and “in seasons”. Recognize that there will be days that are better than others and that even months and months later there may be times where certain emotions resurface. It’s okay because Jesus is right there with us when that happens.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Hi Sarah – I have already contacted you and I think your posting is right on the mark. People grieving is different for each person. You go through many emotions and phases (sometimes in a split second). If I had one word for the sympathizing people I would use “observance”. Observe those you are there to comfort. To the person grieving “open”. Open up to those around you. Let them know (in a gentle way) that you are or are not up to this or that. As stated earlier, your emotions are going through so much “in a flash” and you owe it to yourself to let yourself pass through this and process it all. If you are unavailable when others come around, and they mean you well and really love and respect you – they will understand and comply with your wishes. Mom and I have not come by because we did not want to overwhelm you and the family – knowing how big and loving our ORCC family is. Our love is no less with you now than if we were standing right next to you. We do however want you to know that if you need anything at all – DO NOT hesitate to contact us at anytime and I mean anytime. We will see you at church and will definitely be at Pastor Wally’s memorial.

    Much love and prayers,
    Alice & Helen

  3. my husband of 21 years was killed in an accident a few years back. I had 3 children,youngest age 7-it was a very difficult time and the one thing that still stands out to me is a dear friend came to my house the day after my husbands death… asked what she could do for me? i said “oh nothing, we have food coming etc” and she proceeded to say ” i will just sit here and if/when you need me, i am here for you”.. she proceeded to sit for 6 hours! reading, sewing and just being there… her presence was invaluable to me, as with all the hustle of the house, comings and goings, just knowing she was there was such a comfort, a calm in the storm…

    • Bettie – I bet that was your biggest helper! She was really there for you, but not in the way or acting like you were ignoring her – just there being a true and valuable and priceless friend. Blessings.

  4. I’m sorry for you loss, Sarah – but the fact that you’re writing this so soon after losing your dad proves that he did a great job while here on Earth. You’re finding your own way through the darkness by shining a light for everyone else. Wonderful. My heart goes out to you and your family. Blessings to you and thanks for sharing.

  5. Share your feelings as much as you are able with someone close to you. Holding on to feelings, especally guilt is toxic, and slows the grieving process. That is from recent and personal experience. Blessings.

  6. Sarah,

    The most helpful advice I can give you is to go at your own pace. Everyone grieves at different levels, there is no textbook grief time frame.

    Also, what was invaluable to me when I lost my grandmother was sitting down going through photo albums and cataloging memories that went along with those photos, even asking family members what their favorite memories were.

    But more importantly what brought the most healing to me was being around my brothers and sisters in Christ and realizing that it was okay to laugh, cry, etc.

  7. Sarah, I think many of us try to return to “normal” after the passing of a loved one. The truth is, it is a “new normal” of living without a parent (or spouse, grandparent, etc.) and it takes a while to get used to it. I think it’s okay to have people who can help by doing stupid errands, taking phone messages, solving low level problems and let you adjust.

  8. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about when a parent moves to Heaven…my PRECIOUS Mom left July 29, 2013, and what you say in your blog is so true! Bless you, Sarah! Our God IS the God of all comfort, isn’t he…and we WILL see them AGAIN!

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