It's not uncommon to find yourself at a loss for what to do or how to express sympathy when someone you care about has lost someone they loved. This is true whether it's a friend, a family member, a coworker, or even a client of your business.
You don't want to be overwhelming, but a sympathy card also just doesn't seem to cut it. You want to do something, but finding the right gesture is difficult.
Memorials, funerals, and wakes are somber events, and it's common for people to find themselves uncomfortable and unsure of what's expected of them.
This isn't overwhelmingly surprising, especially since many avoid talking about death whenever possible. Because of this, however, sometimes accidental missteps are made during a time that should be treated with sensitivity and care.
Losing a loved one is amongst many people's deepest fears. The passing of someone we care about, whether it's a family member or a friend, can be unbearably painful. The one glimmer of positivity during a loss, however, is that the bereaved are typically surrounded by their support system. People show up with homemade dishes, attend memorials, and lend an patient ear.
Now, however, that isn't always an option with social distancing still a necessity in many areas due to COVID-19.
Losing someone we love-- whether it's a family member, a spouse, or even a pet-- is never easy. It's a hard transition, and it can be easy to become consumed from the loss and the trauma itself. While we're processing, it's so easy to find yourself fixating on the pain or the hard times leading up to the loss that it's difficult to remember the good times that came before.
Everyone grieves in their own time following a loss. And it does take time to heal and start to recover. There really is no rushing grief or the healing process.
It's normal to have ups and downs after you've lost someone that you love, and even to still find yourself occasionally having hard days several months or even years after a loss despite moving forward and focusing on healing.
In some cases, though, people struggle to heal enough to begin to move forward, even six months or a year after the fact.
Grief is complex, and it can cause major life upheaval that disrupts everything. Not only is our day to day routine potentially impacted, but the loss of someone we love (whether it's a spouse, a parent, a pet, or a miscarried pregnancy) can disrupt everything that we think we know and believe about the world.
It's normal for many people to experience anxiety immediately following a loss. It's also normal to experience a delayed increase in anxiety symptoms several months after a loss.
Grief is hard. It's complicated, and it's uncomfortable, even for those who aren't experiencing the grief firsthand. We don't always know what to say or what to do, and sometimes as a result, we end up saying the wrong while and making it all about ourselves.
Pets truly are a core part of our families. They join our families and we immediately fall in love, and they hopefully get to spend the next decade or so enriching our lives and bringing an immense amount of joy on a daily basis.
When do we lose a family pet, we're often hyperaware of it immediately after. They were part of our daily routine, and they typically bring us so much happiness that a hole is left in our days when they've passed.
A great business should be supportive of employees, offering flexibility and understanding as much as possible. That goes for if someone has to take time off for a medical procedure, to care for a sick child, or to heal from grief and manage a loss.
Whoever said that business isn't personal, after all, was dead wrong; while professional boundaries should always be maintained, employees need to feel supported and cared about. That's particularly true when you have employees who have experienced a death of a loved one.
Weddings, graduations, the birth of a child, and major life accomplishments are all huge milestones that are typically considered overwhelmingly happy. After losing someone important to you like a parent, partner, sibling, or child, however, these major milestones automatically become bittersweet.
While the happiness of these moments is still here, you're always aware of the fact that someone special is missing. It's hard not to imagine what they'd say or what the event would mean to them, and their absence can be piercing.
There's nothing we can do to get back family who has passed, there are ways we can honor those that we've loved and lost during major milestones event. This can help us to remember them in beautiful, positive ways so that we feel their presence when it's missed most.
Unless you or your partner have experienced it firsthand, you may not have thought much about what it's like to experience a miscarriage.
This is partially because many miscarriages happen within the first trimester, before a couple even makes an announcement, and partially because it's often not discussed openly or publicly. This can be isolating, however, for those who do go through this painful loss.
Many people who are blessed enough to not have experienced grief personally often have absolutely no idea of what to say to someone who has recently gone through a loss.
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon that in an attempt to say something comforting, we often fall back on cliches that we've heard before. In some cases, however, these cliches can actually hurt more than they help.