This time of year can be extremely hard for people who have lost loved ones. The world wants everyone to be happy and merry, yet it's important to recognize people who are hurting and bring comfort to those who need it.
If you're facing the holidays with loved ones who are grieving, it can get awkward, but it doesn't have to! Grieving people are still people who just want to know they are loved and cared for like everyone else.
Here are seven tips to help you show up and love the people you care about:
1. Be honest and let them know you love them. Ask if there's anything you can do (or not do) before the festivities begin to support them in their grief. Then listen and respond. Open communication is important.
2. Try to create judgement-free zones where people can be themselves, whatever that looks like in that moment.
3. Don't put expectations on people to be a certain way, especially expectations for someone to be happy if they're hurting. If someone seems sad, acknowledge it and ask them if they want to talk about it.
4. Give them the option to have some alone time in the midst of everything. It's easy to want to fill up schedules, add distractions, or pack in family time. That's okay, but create the opportunity for them to get away by themselves if they need it.
5. If there are tears, embrace them, and be generous with kindness. Let people know it's okay to cry with you and don't be afraid to give hugs.
6. Treat them normal with some added grace.
7. Do what you can to bring authentic laughter and smiles - it's such good medicine for everyone!
If you have stories of how loved ones really showed up for you during hard times, whether it's the holidays or another time where you really needed it, we would love to hear from you. You can either fill out our contact form or leave a comment - Thank you!