Since each person grieves in his or her own way, it’s important to adjust the way in which you communicate to that individual’s experience and needs. Often, there’s no need to say a great deal to one who is grieving. Many people who have suffered a loss can derive comfort from your mere presence. You might offer to sit with your friend for a while and offer a hug or a shoulder to cry on, before and after the funeral service . When your friend is ready to talk about his or her loss, consider using the following tips for communication.
Avoid Directives and Opinions
When you’re speaking with a bereaved friend , you are no doubt trying to offer words of comfort to him or her. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to say something that inadvertently causes hurt or minimizes the grief experience. You can avoid these missteps by refraining from providing opinionated statements, such as “I know exactly how you feel,” and “Your loved one is in a better place now,” and “It was simply your loved one’s time to go.” Instead, share cherished memories of the loved one with your friend; mention a funny story involving the loved one or discuss how much he or she meant to you. Additionally, avoid giving directives or advice, such as “You need to be strong for your family,” and “It’s time to move on with your life.” There is simply no way to “fix” the loss of a loved one.
Offer Support and Show Love
Instead of offering advice, let your friend know that you care about him or her. Tell your friend that you’re available any time he or she needs to talk and to let you know if he or she needs anything. You could also tell your friend that words cannot express how sorry you are for the loss and that your friend’s family will be in your thoughts.
For more than 140 years, Chapel of the Chimes has offered compassionate, personalized end-of-life services to families of a diverse range of backgrounds, and religious and cultural traditions. The professionals at our funeral home in Hayward are always available to answer any questions you may have about our funeral services, cremation services, and pre-planning options. You can reach our funeral home at (510) 471-3363 for more information .
Many of the misconceptions regarding loss and the grieving process involve the five stages of grief. The five stages are: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is often thought that a person will naturally move through each of these five stages in order from denial to acceptance. In fact, each person is unique in his or her grieving process. While it is indeed common to experience these five stages, a person may move from denial to acceptance and then to anger—or in some other order. It’s common to feel a little better one day, yet suffer from devastating sadness the next.
Another common misconception is that every bereaved person will experience all five stages. In fact, many people never find acceptance, just as many never go through the bargaining stage or the isolation stage. Yet another misconception about grief is that the five stages are to be taken only at face value. In other words, a person will only experience depression during that particular stage. In actuality, emotions are as complex as an individual’s personality. Depression may encompass numerous emotions ranging from despair to a feeling of emptiness.
Grieving is often a lonely process. At Chapel of the Chimes, we’re here to help you in any way we can. You can sign up for our daily affirmations or other grief support services, and you can honor the cherished memories of your loved one with a funeral service and burial or cremation. Please call our funeral home in Hayward at (510) 471-3363 to learn more.
At Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, we’re privileged to provide a final resting place to our nation’s veterans and to be a source of comfort to their families. We offer a range of services to our veterans, designed to honor their memories and to make the funeral process easier for their family members.
Veterans who were honorably discharged from the military are eligible to receive a free bronze memorial on behalf of the Veterans Administration. A U.S. flag to drape the casket or urn is also available upon request. There is a range of benefits for family members provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help cover the cost of funeral expenses. Immediate family members of a deceased veteran may be eligible for discounts from Chapel of the Chimes.
Another way we serve veterans at Chapel of the Chimes is with funeral pre-planning services. Let us answer your questions about funeral services by calling us at (510) 471-3363.