Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grief Support-Listening

Listening is an essential part of grief support. Why? Because talking is of major benefit to the person who is grieving.

It is important for people to tell the story of the person who has died and their own story-how they are feeling after the loss. In order to do this, they need to find people who will give them the opportunity to talk and be willing to listen.

There may be times when you are basically listening to them cry. This is extremely difficult, but again important because they need to be able to show whatever feelings they are feeling and feel comfortable doing so.

Other times, they may need to share stories, some of which you may have already heard. Be a good listener and, if the time seems right, share some of your own stories about their loved one.

Most of us spend time preparing what we are going to say when we talk to someone who is grieving. Instead, spend some time preparing to  listen.

I Won’t Tell You

I won’t tell you
how much
this loss will hurt
how lost
you will feel
how long
your grief will
seem oppressive
how often
you will feel
like you are on
a roller coaster and
want to scream
to get off
how many times
you will think
“I can’t wait to tell…
I won’t tell you
how your life
will change, but,
if you want to tell me,
I’ll listen.

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  1. Very well said! That should be on a card. So many of them seem hollow.

  2. Lovely poem Michelle. It's so hard sometimes doing what's right for the grieving person, isn't it? But listening always feels right, or sometimes, just being there so the person knows he's not alone, that's a lovely feeling, knowing you're not alone.

  3. Yes, Veronica, it is hard. Listening and just being there are a good start!

  4. After the years I spent doing both mediation and hospice work, I agree 100%. And you put it so well. Mahalo, Michelle.

  5. Thanks, Lara. It's another topic we discuss often in the bereavement group.