December 11

Holding Space for Grief: Ways to Comfort and Support A Loved One in Mourning

Posted By Eréndira "Yendi" Castillo*

Losing a loved one is an incredibly challenging experience, and the journey through grief can be both complex and overwhelming. Unfortunately, we all experience grief at one time or another, and knowing how to manage your own grief and how to be there for others who are grieving is an important skill that can improve your life and relationships.

As your Personal Family Lawyer ® firm, we understand that our role extends beyond legal matters. In times of loss, it's crucial to provide comfort and support to those grieving, and when they’re ready, guidance for the steps ahead.

In this blog, we explore practical and heartfelt ways to hold space for your loved ones who are mourning.

1. Express Empathy

When someone is grieving, the simple act of expressing empathy can provide immense comfort. Let your loved one know that you are there for them, ready to listen without judgment. Phrases like "I'm here for you," or "I'm so sorry for your loss" can make a significant impact.

If you have also lost a loved one, consider relying on your own experience to relate to their feelings and encourage the person that they will make it through this. Just be mindful to keep the focus on their feelings, as everyone experiences the emotions of loss differently.

If you aren’t sure what to say or aren’t able to be with them physically, a heartfelt card or a handwritten note can convey your sympathy in a tangible and lasting way. Being present on a telephone call can also be extremely comforting. Even if your loved one doesn’t want to talk, just being together in silence can help.

2. Create a Safe Environment

Grief is a personal journey, and everyone copes differently. Some may need solitude, while others seek companionship. Respect your loved one's grieving process and offer support tailored to their needs.

Grieving individuals often need a safe space to express their feelings without fear of judgment. Encourage open communication and let your loved one know that it's okay to feel a range of emotions. Avoid offering unsolicited advice and instead, provide a listening ear.

Sometimes, just being present and allowing them to share memories or express their pain can be incredibly therapeutic.

If your loved one doesn’t feel like talking or being around others, don’t push them. Leave them a message of support and give them space. Check in with them only if you haven’t heard from them in an unusual amount of time based on your relationship with them.

Be patient and understand that the stages of grief are unique to each individual. Even if your loved one is feeling better, they will likely have days or weeks where they will feel overwhelmed by grief again. Offer comfort in these moments without trying to change how they feel.

3. Offer Practical Help

During times of grief, even daily tasks can feel insurmountable. Offering practical help, such as preparing a meal, running errands, or assisting with household chores, can make a world of difference to someone in mourning. Small gestures can alleviate the burden on your loved one, allowing them the time and space they need to navigate their emotions.

If your loved one is grieving for their spouse, they may be at a loss for how to manage their finances or other daily tasks that their partner normally would have handled. Offer to help them pay their bills, set up memorial arrangements, or inform your other relatives about the loss. If your loved one has children to care for, offer to watch their kids for a while, pick them up after school, or help with homework.

Where you’re able, try to assist your loved one as part of a routine or ritual. Establishing routines can provide a sense of stability amid grief. This could be as simple as giving them a weekly phone call to check in, a monthly visit to a special place, or inviting them over for dinner every Sunday. The consistency and socialization these routines bring can offer a source of connection and help ease the depression that comes with loss.

Ease The Burden of Loss on Your Family By Planning Ahead

In times of grief, the support of friends and family is crucial. But the best way to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes with the loss of a loved one is to create a plan ahead of time. By doing so, everyone you love will know exactly what you want to happen if you become incapacitated or die, and the care of your assets, bills, and loved ones will be handled quickly and smoothly by the people you trust.

Even more importantly, your loved ones will have the support of your Personal Family Lawyer® to walk them through any necessary legal steps they need to take during the mourning process.

To learn more about how we can help you create a plan that will provide guidance, comfort, and ease for your loved ones after your death or incapacity, schedule a complimentary call with our office.

We would be honored to be there for your family.

This article is a service of a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life & Legacy Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life & Legacy Planning Session™.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

Proper estate planning can keep your family out of conflict, out of court, and out of the public eye. If you’re ready to create a comprehensive estate plan, contact us to schedule your Planning Session. Even if you already have a plan in place, we will review it and help you bring it up to date to avoid heartache for your family. Schedule online today.

*Yendi Castillo is a Personal Family Lawyer® and this blog post is licensed to allied attorneys who wish to provide estate planning services that work and  keep your family out of court and out of conflict.  A Personal Family Lawyer® is a trusted advisor who helps you make the very best personal, financial, legal, and business decisions for your family throughout your lifetime and is there to guide your loved ones when you can't be.  You can find a Personal Family Lawyer in your community here:

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