You can be a better comforter to your grieving friends and family members this year by:
- Being more aware of the person’s situation and needs. This resolution obligates you to be more deeply involved in the lives of your friends and family members. Otherwise how would you know their life or loss situation and address their deepest needs for support, comfort and encouragement?
- Being more present in the person’s life. This resolution takes a concerted or “intentional” effort to be there for the person–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t hover or try to orchestrate their grief. Just be there and available for the person.
- Being more active in the person’s life. This resolution means going beyond just offering to be there if they need anything. (If you ever need anything, just call me. Heard or said that one before?) Put yourself in their shoes and do for them what would be helpful to you under the same circumstances. Your helpful action can be something as simple as doing their lawn, cleaning their home, helping them with shopping or babysitting their children to give them a break.
- Being their advocate. This resolution means doing all you can to encourage, support and comfort the mourner….and recruiting others to do the same.
- Being their prayer warrior. Go to God often on behalf of your grieving friend and family member, their loved ones and yourself. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16b)
Written by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT author of the grief survival guide “Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise” available online at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Love-Never-LPC-S-Larry-Barber/dp/1613796005 ), Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-never-dies-lpc-s-ct-larry-m-barber-ct-larry-m/1104364890?ean=9781613796016).
The grief survival guide is also available in Spanish as “El Amor Nunca Muere: Aceptando el Dolor con Esperanza y Promesa”
Both English and Spanish versions are available for Kindle and Nook. Larry is the director of GriefWorks, a free grief support program for children and their families in Dallas TX http://grief-works.org.