It's so hard to know how to show your sympathy when a loved one suffers a loss
This is a strange blog to write. Usually when I choose a topic it’s because I think it will appeal to a large audience. Because of the incredibly sad subject in this one, I deep down really hope that this doesn’t.
That said, I think it is a very important subject to cover and I hope it can be of help to those who need it.
The loss of a loved one at any age is utterly devastating and something it can be hard to know how to deal with.
The loss of a child, baby or even a miscarriage is just incomprehensible to most parents.
Unfortunately for some it is a reality they have to face..
Our classic response as a friend can often be to sympathize by saying “we understand, we get how they feel”… of course this isn’t true but we just want to try and help in some way.
A parent who hasn’t suffered a loss can simply never know how it feels and hopefully never will. What we do know is that our friend or loved one needs our help and support now more than ever before.
So how do we show that?
There really is no one answer to this as everyone is different and deals with loss in their own way. One thing that is often overlooked because we might feel awkward about it is to just ask them? What can I do that helps you right now? It might be help in a practical way that is needed or it might be more emotional support, often both. Whatever it is we know we will gladly take care of it for them.
Often offering support to a closer friend is much easier than those who you don’t know quite so well.
I had a friend who tragically lost her husband, their boys were still very young and it was a terrible time for the family. I wanted to show my sympathy but wasn’t one of her close friends… This left me with that annoying fear we all seem to have about not wanting to do or say the wrong thing!
So what did I do… Very little!
I now know from speaking to her in the years after that all those little things people did, the cards, gifts, anything that showed they cared really meant a lot to her.
It’s easy to feel awkward and stay away from mentioning the loss because we don’t want to upset them or make them cry again… but remember they are crying because it’s still upsetting not because you upset them.
Pick your time well (no one wants a heart to heart in the street) but be that shoulder for them to cry on, that ear to listen, re-live the memories of their loved one or just talk about whatever it is that helps them.
They say time heals most things but when it comes to such a tragic loss it certainly is never forgotten. As time moves on they may learn how to live with the loss but it will never leave them. I believe that keeping the memory alive is so important. Old photos, keepsakes and shared stories are always nice to look back on.
It saddens me that one of our best selling items is a Personalized Memorial Bear. It’s a lovely gift for people to give but every time it’s ordered I know someone has suffered a loss. I just hope it can give them a little comfort to receive a gift from a friend that will help them save those precious memories.
If you’re reading this because you have a friend in need I hope it will help you go to them and offer your support, avoid that awkward silence of not knowing what to say and just ask them if they want to talk?
Thank You for reading this most treasured post, if you wish to share then please do so.
Keep Smiling Jenny x
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