You probably already know this, but grief can do really funny things to people. It can make them act impulsively, lash out in anger, or withdraw completely from the world. And in some cases, it can cause in-fighting among friends and loved ones.
It’s important to be patient with your loved ones during this time and to understand that their behavior is not necessarily a reflection of how they feel about you.
It is also important to realize that added stress put on your mind, heart, and body can actually draw out the healing process, causing increased grief and heartache, even pausing the natural process altogether.
Here are some tips for maintaining healthy relationships with your loved ones after a loss…
- Give your loved ones some space. Respect their need for time and privacy as they work through their own grief.
- Be understanding if they are moody, irritable, or withdrawn. Grief can cause all sorts of emotions to surface.
- Do not take their outbursts personal. It is not about you.
- Offer your support in any way you can. Whether it’s listening, helping with funeral arrangements, or just being there for them, let them know that you are available.
- Avoid putting added stress on yourself. This will only prolong the healing process and cause more pain for everyone involved.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise when you can.
- Remember that grief is a unique process for everyone. What works for one person may not work for another. Be patient and let them find their own way through it.
- Be there for your loved ones as long as they need you. Grief can be a long and difficult process.
- If there is a will or estate, make time to talk to your loved one about divvying up assets or moving forward in probate. For example, ask: “What do you think they would have wanted us to do with it?” This simple conversation can avoid future family in-fighting.
- Most importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Grieving is hard work and it’s easy to neglect your own needs in favor of those of your loved ones. But you need to be strong in order to support them. So make sure you find time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day to relax and recharge.
If you have any other tips for maintaining healthy relationships with your loved ones after a loss, please share them in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.