We all experience some sort of loss in our lives. The experience is different for everyone. It is so easy for some of us to forget what that pain was like and for others, they never forget. What we have to keep in mind is that the pain of loss is different for everybody. We all cope with it differently, and what is not spoken of enough is how to be there for someone who is going through grief. It is easy for us to know what type of comfort we like but it does not always apply to others.
What happens when we are grieving or lose something/someone?
Loss can be anything. This can include people you lose, jobs, objects, or anything we attached ourselves to. When someone who is grieving is experiencing loss, there are so many changes that are happening, especially with how they perceive the world. Since they tend to internalize the loss, some people have a difficult time recovering from the trauma of experiencing the loss of a family member, close friend, or even their job (Giannopoulou et al., 2018). Ultimately there are a lot of changes because now the person has to live in a world where who or what they loved is no longer there.
Grief is linked to a variety of various mental processes, including the ability to retain memories, the ability to imagine ourselves in another’s shoes, and even abilities to control our heart rate and the way we endure pain and suffering (McCoy, 2021). Change of habit is difficult. Ultimately there are a lot of changes considering the person has to live in a world where who/what they loved is no longer there. Clients often describe their loss as an experience that often feels like their life has been turned upside down and life seems to be going on regardless of what they are experiencing.
How you can best be there for someone who is grieving?
The main point brought up in counselling by clients is that people don’t know how to be there for them. They are scared to talk about the person or thing they lost and they offer advice they did not ask for. Having a support system is one of the backbones of the person who is grieving.