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  1. #1
    Senior Member lightsun's Avatar
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    Default Grief: How to approach a person going through the grief state.

    "Grief: How to approach a person going through the grief state. There is a sympathy route, the empathy royal road and the pity avenue. It requires an active listening set of skills. In addition empathy comes into play with validation of the person, their feelings and what they are going through. Discuss the pitfalls of either mere sympathy or worse pity."


    Quote:
    "There are some griefs so loud they could bring down the sky, and there are griefs so still none knows how deep they lie." Mary Sarton
    LightSun Paul Peaceweaver

  2. #2
    Liberator Coriolis's Avatar
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    I would sure like to have the answer to this question. I find this very hard to do.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  3. #3
    Used Thread Salesman Population: 1's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the person and their current state. Not everyone goes through the so called five stages of grief. I didn’t.

    Everyone is different. Now I know I say that a lot. Because it’s true- a lot. So there really isn’t a sure fire way to help someone navigate grief. Everyone has a different duration to their grief. Some people want to talk some don’t. Some don’t initially but then do. Some do and then don’t. Honestly it varies so much.

    The one thing I never do is compare my grieving experience to someone else’s. I may mention what I went through but never in comparison to their experience.

    When my father died I honestly didn’t want to talk about it and didn’t for a long time. The I’m so sorry’s seemed endless and after not too long rang so hollow. I just wanted to be left alone to process it by myself. My mom was different she didn’t want to be alone and for her the deafening silence after his service, when the flowers have dried up and the condolences have ceased was a dark place for her.

    So it really is an individual experience but never pity someone. Let them know that if they wish you are there for them but pity, pity is something you take on a homeless puppy with a broken leg, not a human being. Understanding and being mindful and respectful of their wishes is what people want I think.
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  4. #4
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Let them know that you are there for them and then continue to hover in their general area without becoming too much of an annoyence or reminder of their grief.

    At least that is generally my approach.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf
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  5. #5
    abcdenfp Abcdenfp's Avatar
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    i actually went through a course on grief therapy , because you will be amazed at how many things you can grieve, from deaths, to loss of a relaionship , job loss, pet loss , life goals loss...grief is a powerful emotional experience, and we are usually asked to skim through it, but it can shape and redifine a persons life experience.
    so when i see someone grieving i always acknowledge in a" i see your pain but i know that your feeling in a way i dont want to minimalize " because so many people suffer in silence usually just acknowledgment gives a little relief and i usually see them one on one a couple weeks later to let them verbalize, give them a grief therapy work book and be a open ear and heart.

  6. #6
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    This is a hard question to answer. Usually I just acknowledge how hard the situation must be for them and express that I am if they need someone to help them with something or to talk to. Often, I've found myself saying "I honestly really don't know what to say." I've later gotten feedback that saying this was more honest and better than saying "oh I'm so sorry" which I've known grieving people to actually get tired of hearing (albeit I say it too). And sometimes just your prescense by the person's side speaks volumes to them.

    I don't know if people do this nowadays, but growing up my mom and I would bake chicken pot pie. Well, my mom would, I got to use the extra dough and cut little teddy bears out with cookie cutters to put on top of the pie. We'd make them for people we knew who had either lost someone, had gone through surgery or a medical problem, or some other trying circumstance. I'm pretty sure that was her way of saying "I'm here for you" and being physically there without acting intrusive (although I don't believe she's done this in years, and I'm not sure if people still give food to others in times like this ).

  7. #7
    Liberator Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucieCat View Post
    This is a hard question to answer. Usually I just acknowledge how hard the situation must be for them and express that I am if they need someone to help them with something or to talk to. Often, I've found myself saying "I honestly really don't know what to say." I've later gotten feedback that saying this was more honest and better than saying "oh I'm so sorry" which I've known grieving people to actually get tired of hearing (albeit I say it too). And sometimes just your prescense by the person's side speaks volumes to them.
    I think a big part of my uncertainty in knowing what to do comes from the fact that when I have been on the receiving end of this, I have found the response of others usually annoying. I almost prefer the simple "I'm sorry to hear that", as long as that's the end of it and they move on to other things immediately. Telling me something like "this must be hard for you" is especially irksome. Why must it be? Because it would be for you, or someone else you know? That pretty much shuts down any thought I might have of speaking about the matter to that person. I have learned long ago, though, that what I want is quite different from what other people want, so hesitate to use my own preferences as a guide. (This is where the golden rule breaks down.)

    Quote Originally Posted by LucieCat View Post
    I don't know if people do this nowadays, but growing up my mom and I would bake chicken pot pie. Well, my mom would, I got to use the extra dough and cut little teddy bears out with cookie cutters to put on top of the pie. We'd make them for people we knew who had either lost someone, had gone through surgery or a medical problem, or some other trying circumstance. I'm pretty sure that was her way of saying "I'm here for you" and being physically there without acting intrusive (although I don't believe she's done this in years, and I'm not sure if people still give food to others in times like this ).
    Now this I can do: any help of a practical nature.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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