5 things not to say to mourners while on vacation
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For those in mourning, the holidays are not “the most beautiful time of the year”. Not only are they dealing with their pain, but they are doing it during a time that is meant to be joyful.
Relatives often try to alleviate some of the grief a person may be feeling by offering helpful phrases or advice, but what may seem like a supportive statement could actually exacerbate a person’s sadness, Dan said. Reidenberg, president of the American Psychotherapy Association. Huffington Post.
“Some statements do not take into account how the grieving person feels,” Reidenberg said. “They end up really focusing on the person who is not mourning.
Take a look at advice from Reidenberg and a few other experts and avoid these common pitfalls:
1. “Smile, it’s vacation.”
While this is a well-intentioned way of trying to cheer someone up, it can seem overwhelming.
“Statements like these end up sending a message to the grieving person ‘hide your sadness’ or’ ‘it’s not good to be sad,'” Reidenberg said. “It hurts them, makes them feel bad. feeling more lonely and that their grief might somehow be wrong. “
2. “Next year will be better.”
Grief often makes the future cloudy.
“The holidays are filled with memories of good times, of happy times, when loved ones and friends shared experiences and created memories together,” Reidenberg said. “These are now a thing of the past for the grieving person and it is very hard for them. “
Include the person in your vacation preparations and just spend quality time with them when they need it, Reidenberg suggested. A solidarity presence goes further than you might think.
3. Questions about the details of the death.
Curiosity should be quelled in this case, according to Nancy Marshall, Certified Professional Counselor and author of Getting Through It: A Workbook for Suicide Survivors.
“Don’t force anyone to tell the story and re-expose the trauma,” Marshall told HuffPost. “Your right to ‘news’ does not override their need for well-being. “
4. “Let’s try not to think about it now.”
“People have a hard time being with someone who is sad and grieving, so they often try to change their minds or somehow improve them and the reality is that sometimes it just doesn’t. just can’t be better, ”Reidenberg said.
Acknowledging the loss of a person is crucial. Instead, try asking the grieving person what traditions they liked to have with the deceased, Reidenberg advised. Allow the person to tell you how much or how little they want to chat.
5. “They’re in a better place.”
It’s easy to choose snapshots as the default, but they often seem impersonal. Phrases like “everything happens for a reason” and “they’re in a better place now” can often cause a grieving person to feel even more isolated if they are not yet in a place where they can accept what is wrong. happened, Reidenberg said.
Try saying something like “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling” or “Is there anything I can do for you?” ” rather. And never underestimate the power of saying you’re sorry that happened to them.
Ultimately, the grief will subside, but your support throughout the process is vital for the person who is suffering.
“It will certainly never be ‘good’ that this has happened, but time will pass and the sharpest pain will recede from consciousness,” Marshall said. “Always be compassionate with yourself as an observer and with your friend who has gone through a horrific loss.”
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