How Should You Support Someone Crying Tears of Grief?

By Steve Keller

Guess what?  It depends!  Clearly your response to someone crying has much to do with the relationship or level of intimacy with that person. However, given that, some supportive gestures are encouraged and some are definite no-no’s!  In general, no matter what the relationship, doing or saying nothing is not a good idea as this can often make the crier feel worse.  Don’t ever assume you know how to comfort someone, especially someone you don’t know well.  For example, some criers welcome physical touch such as a pat on the shoulder or a hug and others may find it intrusive. The less intimate the relationship, the more it is appropriate to ask if or how the person would like to be helped.

In fact, if you have no idea what to say, it’s okay to be honest and forthright about that and say something simple like “I’m here for you.”

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Continuing Bonds

Continuing Bonds

By Steve Keller

The counselors at the Center for Loss and Bereavement work from a variety of the latest and best researched Grief models and concepts. One of these is called “Continuing Bonds”. Continuing bonds simply means that it is encouraged and healthy for survivors to maintain the relationship with the deceased. This relationship can no longer be one of “flesh and blood”, but can be maintained as a mental image or internal representation of the deceased. This ongoing “relationship” may involve perpetual “conversations” in one’s imagination with the deceased, a sense of maintaining loyalty to the deceased, a sense of “being watched over” by the deceased, and involving the deceased in decision-making. Read more