Our nation just finished stuffing their faces with turkey, stuffing, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and an assortment of sweets. So now the official countdown to Christmas has begun! While many people are still out searching for gifts for family members and loved ones or booking last minute flights, there are others who are anticipating this upcoming holiday to be over. Generally, the holidays can be tough for those who have lost a loved one due to death or separation and many times we forget to provide comfort, attention and love towards them. Therefore, I want to provide you with some helpful tips that you can use to help comfort loved ones who are dealing with a loss during this holiday.
1.) Be a Listening Ear When you lose a loved one, many emotions such as sadness, anger, hopelessness, depression, quietness and more can occur. Unfortunately, some may suppress those emotions to the point that they may isolate themselves from people. During ones mourning, it is important to be supportive and assure he or she that they have the right to feel whatever emotions they are currently experiencing.
This is never a time to judge, tell them to get over their feelings or even question the length of their mourning. You are needed to listen, not to give a presidential speech. In addition, always keep in mind that the matter is not about you; therefore, avoid bringing up statements such as "I know what you're feeling right now, the same thing happened to me". Even though the statement may come from a genuine and truthful place, it can actually take the spotlight off of the individual and make it about you. In that moment, that person may not need to hear your stories but just a set of ears that will hear theirs.
2.) Spend Quality Time and Be Sure to Follow Through with Promises
Spending a holiday in solitude is not a wise choice but for many it may be the only choice. That is why extending a sincere invitation to spend quality time with you during the holiday such as going out to eat, doing a fun activity, shopping and more is vital. This can serve as a reminder that someone does genuinely care about their well-being despite their isolation. While agreeing to hang out may be feasible for some, keep in mind that it may be difficult for others to warm up to that idea. Also, try to avoid making promises that you know you cannot keep. If you promise to call, text or spend time with the person, PLEASE make every effort to follow through with it. Every time you break your promises, the thought of you being that individual's comfort zone begins to diminish and they may revert back to isolation. You really never know who is looking forward to your quality time. Even though life can deter us from our initial plans, it is considerate to communicate those changes. It is a sign of respect and it shows that you truly meant what you promised. 3.) Pray For Their Healing Praying for and with people is powerful! Prayer reminds us that even in our pain, God is near. Psalm 34:18 reminds us of that, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (NIV). Even if the person does not believe in God or prayer, you can still pray (from afar) for their healing and strength during their difficult time.
Have you ever felt like someone prayed for you during a hard time in your life? Well you have an opportunity to provide that feeling to someone else.
The holiday season is a great time to show our family members that we care but don't forget to do the same with those who are hurting. ❤️