Consoling a Bereaved Person

In this post, we are going to talk about ways to console a person who is bereaved; the importance of consolation, ways to comfort them and simple things to say to someone that is grieved from the lost of a loved one. 

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Grief is always a result of the loss of something of value or person. No one prays or wishes to lose the things or people that are of value to them. For things, they may have hope of getting it back in one way or the other but when we lost people, it is an irredeemable loss. That is why the pain is so deep.


So, when people are grieving, we need to support them to strengthen them. This is what it means to console someone that is grieving. If we must console people, we must know how to do it right. So, we shall be looking at everything that surrounds consoling someone that is grieving. Let’s examine them all!


Why console someone that is Bereaved

Consoling someone that is grieving is not something to overlook. Overlooking it will mean that you have overlooked someone in pain. If you don’t understand the reasons why you need to console those in pain, you may not do it right or see the value in it. Here are some reasons why you need to console those grieving;

It can happen to anyone: First, you need to know that losing someone or something of value can happen to anyone. Hence, we need to be our brother’s keeper. Today, it may be someone else, tomorrow, it may be you. No one has graduated over losing someone or something of value.

It is a seed: Understand that when you stand to be of help to someone in need or pain, you are sowing a seed. That seed will one day grow to be available for you sometime in the future. Even the Bible says God is not unrighteous to forget your labor of love. This does not mean you must lose someone to gain this seed, God can reward you in different ways. 

Worse things can happen: If we fail to console those that are grieving to ease off the pain, we may be giving way for worse things to happen. Imagine someone that is grieving and still feeling lonely in the pain. That can lead to depression and in worse cases, it may turn out to be suicidal.

For the love of the Father: Even if you don’t consider this to be important, please do it for the love of the father. The love of the father that you have received, please share it to everyone in pain that you know. Be like Jesus Christ who went about doing good.


Also Read: Prayer Points for a Family that is Grieving


The intent of the consolation

Why we look at you consoling someone that is grieving, it is important to know and understand what we want to achieve. This will give our interaction in the consolation and how we do it. Methods or ways may be different but the goal or focus remains the same. There are three major goals we need to work towards:

Stop thinking: When people are grieving, they think too much about the incident and their loss. This thinking can lead them to anything (all negative) if not checked. So, one of the objectives, as you console the person that is grieving, is to take their mind off the grieving and help them see other things that can uplift them.

Encouragement: Another important goal is to encourage the person grieving. By encouragement, we mean that you will help them to see other good things that is awaiting them. Words of encouragement and true empathy can help them see it. They need to be taken off the downcast zone.

Care: When consoling someone that is grieving, another objective is to care for them and help them see the care. When they see genuine care, it will help their healing process. Depending on how close the person is to you, care for them. You can help them do a few things while you are with them.

People: Another idea is to have people around them when they are grieving. The presence of people alone is a lot of healing. That will show them that they are not alone in their down moment. This will make them realize that they have a shoulder to lean on. This is very important. This will prevent them from doing anything that can hurt them as well. 


Ways to console someone that is grieving

Although we do not pray for bad things to happen to people, but when it does, we have to know the different ways to console them. We need to know the right ways to console someone that is grieving so as not to aggravate the pain with our methods. When it comes to consoling someone, what to say and how you say it is very important. Here are the ways to go about it;

Listen: If you are out to console someone that is grieving, you must practice excellent listening skills. You must be patient enough to hear them out as they speak out their pain and frustration. Don’t be too fast to shut them up. Listen and carefully calm them down. If you don’t listen well enough they will sense it even though they are in pain. Never make them feel like you are there to recite common words people recite. Just be a good listener. 

Empathy: As you listen to the grieving individual, please empathize with them. This is why you need to listen because it will be hard to empathize if you are not listening. You need to understand and share their feelings, that is what empathy means. It may not b advisable to ask questions, but by listening well enough you will be able to empathize with them.

Words: Words are powerful and it is with words that you can bring consolation. So, you need to choose the right words. The words must console, encourage, and empathize with the person. Be careful with the choice of words you speak so as not to destroy things.

Visit: You need to plan visits depending on how close you are to the person that is grieving. Visiting them registers your love and care for them. If they have you around them, it is a way of consoling even without saying anything yet.

Messages: It is not out of place to drop messages to people grieving in different ways. You can send them text messages of encouragement. That will work for the time you are not there physically to console them. It will also show them that they are in your mind despite your busy schedule. 


Things to avoid while consoling someone that is Bereaved

When you are trying to console someone that is grieving, there are things you must avoid at all costs. This is to avoid doing the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. Here are a few of those things below;

Avoid Comparison: As you console the person in pain, try as much as possible to avoid comparing your experience with theirs. The only time you can do this is when it is exactly the same which is very rare. Be careful about this!

Know where to go: It is not every place where someone is grieving that you go to. Whether you will go or not is dependent on the relationship with that person. If you don’t know them personally, please don’t go because that can trigger another thing. 

Don’t disregard the pain: While you are consoling someone that is grieving, please don’t disregard their pains and concern on the subject matter. Don’t make them feel less human while you are trying to console them, acknowledge the pain and encourage them. Don’t downplay the pain as if it is no pain. Be careful!

Don’t force your faith: As you console the person grieving, it is not out of place to share words of encouragement based on faith. If don’t share your faith, please don’t force it on them. That will cause more harm than what you are trying to achieve. Be wise!

Don’t break down there: It happens once in a while that the person trying to console a grieving person will go there and break down too. If you can’t be strong enough, please wait until you think you are able to. And if you can’t hold yourself, please choose other ways to console the person that is grieving. You can send in letters, text messages, greeting cards, other people, etc.

Don’t overstay: When you visit someone to console them because they have lost someone or something of value, please don’t overstay your welcome. It is important that you know when to leave. Whether you are visiting someone close or just a friend, please know when to leave.

Don’t just talk: While you are trying to console someone, please talk only when you have something important that can help their recovery. Don’t talk because you feel like saying something. That can be dangerous, talk because you want to use words to uplift the individual. 


Simple things to say to someone who lost a loved one

  1. I am really sorry for your loss.
  2. I do not have the right words to say to you but know that I care about you.
  3. I cannot begin to imagine how you feel right now but I will always be here to help you in any way that I can.
  4. I want you to know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers.
  5. My favorite memory of your loved one is…
  6. I will always be here for you, am just a phone call away.
  7. You know that she meant a lot to me and my family, we will always be here for you.
  8. If you need anything, let me know.

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