Monday, August 17, 2015

What to Say and Do (or not) to the Newly Bereaved

When someone you know is grieving, what do you say? What can you do?  I am asked that question all the time.  And yet, just two weeks ago I found myself asking a newly widowed 82 year-old man if he needed anything.  "I don't even know what I need," was his reply.  Fair enough.

So what does the newly bereaved need?  Family and friends usually respond with lots of food, as they pay their respects to both the dearly departed and the newly bereaved.  But then what?  

After the service is over, and family and friends stop coming by, that's when the real grieving starts.  And that's precisely when the awkwardness begins, causing those same well meaning family and friends to do one of two things:  (1)  Say something they believe is comforting, but is actually insulting and makes things worse, or (2) avoid the bereaved altogether.

So why don't we compile a simple list of what to say and do?  Been there, done that.  We see it every few months in the Huffington Post or New York Times, written by someone new. Sure, those articles get read but, simply put, we are visual creatures and tend to retain little from a newspaper article.   Besides, its not like someone takes the time to clip it out to post on the lunch room fridge.

So, not one to shy from breaking new ground, I decided to find a way to teach people how to help the bereaved from a different venue.

Enter Grief Diaries 101.  

Thanks to today's technology, and with a little help from stars aligning in perfect synchronicity, Grief Diaries 101 will launch on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, via The Wellness Universe and LearnItLive.  And, since loss happens every day, a live webinar will run the third Tuesday of every month.  Each month we'll cover common tips and hints and then focus on a particular type of loss, and participants will learn what to say and do that is helpful to those faced with that kind of loss.

Did you know that the number one thing a griever needs in the initial days after a loss is toilet paper?  I'll share the answer why in Grief Diaries 101.  

So, what actually is the best thing to say to the newly bereaved?  Look for that answer too (and it's not what you think).  

Because I don't know all the answers, and since every loss is unique, guest instructors will share their own tips and thoughts to broaden the scope of instruction and enrich the discussion with their own perspectives.

Grief Diaries 101 is for everyone who has a newly bereaved coworker, neighbor, family or friend that they don't know how to help. Participants are invited to come with questions they wouldn't dare ask anywhere else, and be prepared for 90 minutes of helpful information everybody needs to know.

Each class is $20.  Click HERE to to learn more.

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