Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

Do you know someone who is dealing with the death of a loved one? Wonder what you can do to help? Psychologist Michael Friedrichs, Ph.D., joined us with information about the bereavement process.

Dr. Friedrichs says when helping someone who is grieving,  avoid clichés at all cost, this includes saying things like, “It's God’s Plan”, “Life goes on”, “He’s in a better place”, and especially “I know how you feel”. In the docotor's experience, people are freaked-out by grief, so they try to make it go away.

Dr. Friedrichs says gently encourage them to talk about their loss and don't be afraid to use the word  “DIED”.  He says "Ask questions like 'Where were you when you found out?' 'This must be terrible for you,' 'I’m sorry', etc.  You probably cannot make it worse unless you say something stupid."

Also, he says remember the grieving process is not not about you. You HELP them by encouraging the expression of pain.   He offers these additional points:

  • Encourage their grief process
  • Forgive them for whatever they say or do
  • Offer to help-- bring food, gather Insurance forms, pick kids, walk pets, etc/
  • Stay overnight
  • Set up group or therapy
  • REMEMBER the first anniversary

For more information on dealing with grief or other mental health issues, visit Dr. Friedrichs website.

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