Signs of a supportive relationship
We each have a circle of friends that provide times of fun and enjoyment. But those same friends may not feel comfortable being around grief. They may not know what to say or do to support you at a time of loss. During our grief journey we need supportive relationships. How do we recognize them?
Here are some key factors to look for:
*they let you describe how you feel
*they listen and hear your feelings
*they try to understand your life circumstances
*they accept ALL your moods, good or bad
*they do not judge you
*you can laugh with them, cry with them, or be silent around them
*they genuinely seek to do what is best for you
*since grief does not go by a calendar, they make themselves available when a need surfaces.
Do not be surprised if a supportive person is not part of your family or current friend group. Often this person comes into your life to support during this time.
Walking the grief journey is very difficult, and we do need supportive relationships. As a result, because we experience what helps and what hurts during our time of grief . . . perhaps we will become the supportive person who steps up to walk alongside another griever.
It is absolutely OK to seek support outside your current friend group if they are not comfortable providing what you need. In fact, I recommend reaching out to others for help and support. Do not be ashamed to ask for support. Seeking support and counsel is a sign of strength . . . not weakness. You may decide to experience a grief support group, either in person or online. Not everyone is comfortable in a grief group. That is OK.
Bob Willis, author
"A Guide for Grievers"
"JESUS: The CRUSICIFIED CAREGIVER"
Email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org