Two months after my dad died, my “best friend” screamed at me for being negative and told me to get my life together. Super supportive!! Jk.
When someone is in pain, we may say: I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY!”
Well, that’s the thing: you don’t actually have to say a damn thing! You don’t have to solve or fix or distract.
Holding space is so difficult from the outside, as the person not experiencing the loss, because it requires them to feel emotions and empathize beyond what they may feel comfortable experiencing.
It can require deep levels of empathy connecting to pains and losses that may not have healed and can be personally triggering.
And most challenging of all: there is not solution to the pain, just feeling, experiencing and time.
So, rather than avoid, yell at, shame, criticize, judge and try to fix and solve feeling pain that will not go away, try these tips instead.
1. It is about them right now
2. Validate their experience
3. Get curious
4. Ask: how can I help?
5. Follow up and through
THE RETURN: a beautiful and connective experience between friends.
Check out some tips below! Let us know if you find them helpful.