What do you say to someone who’s grieving? Episode 66
March 20, 2017
So many people in my life in 2016 were grieving it's difficult to track them all.
Some of them lost a family member. Some lost a pet. And some were grieving over their lost candidate after the election. One of the things that most of us have to deal with in retirement is grief – either our own or someone else's. What do you say to someone who's grieving? That's exactly what I asked Natalia Volz and the answer may surprise you.
Natalia Volz is the founder of Passing Through Grief and the RELIEF Process.
She helps individuals who feel lost and down after experiencing a significant loss or change in their life such as a death, divorce, or children leaving home to heal their pain so they can rebuild their life and find renewed purpose.
She has first hand experience with loss and grief. In 2010, after a two-year battle with cancer, her husband died at the age of 49. Lost, alone, and very frightened, she eventually found her way through the devastating pain of loss and grief.
There is a lack of understanding and a fear in our culture about loss and grief, and she found herself struggling to find help to get through. She worked diligently to move beyond her own grief and on to living happily and purposefully. Natalia read every book she could get my hands on, took courses on the subject, and completed grief recovery certification training, and in the process became passionate about making a difference in the way our society deals with loss, change and grief.
It's easy to tell that she feels passionate about getting out accurate information on a subject we normally avoid but all have to confront first hand at some point in our lives.
I asked Natalia, “What do you say?” I know that I'm always at a loss for words when I'm confronted with someone who is grieving, because I know that nothing I say or do is going to bring their wholeness back. She had a very interesting answer: Be a heart with ears.
For the person who is grieving, she said that time does not heal all wounds. The person suffering a loss needs to talk about it. Keeping busy does not heal. So what do you say to someone who's grieving?
Natalia gave us some steps to take to help with our own grief:
* Find a place to talk about the feelings of loss.
* Write about your feelings about the loss.
* Connect with others. See if there is one friend who will listen to how you are feeling. Tell them you just need to talk, and to have them listen.
* Say it or write it while you are feeling the emotion.
* Grief causes a lot of energy. Move through it through your body. Don't stuff it. Take a walk if you can.
* Listen to music that makes you cry. Get your tears out. Crying releases a stress hormone that actually helps you release the stress. Don't worry, you can't cry forever. Normally it takes about 15 minutes and then you feel better.
* Writing really helps with the relief process.
So what do you say to someone who's grieving? For dealing with others, remember you can't fix it so don't even try. Be a heart with ears. If your friend is telling you about some guilt that they might feel, don't discount it by saying “He knew you loved him”, instead say something like, “I can imagine that would be really painful. I can't imagine what that would feel like. Tell me more”.
Natalia gave us some excellent advice, but unfortunately my internet went out right when we were wrapping up the show. I hope to have her come back someday because what she had to say was so valuable. The good news is that we were wrapping up, about to give out her contact information, which we have below.
If you'd like to contact Natalia, you can reach her at 877-606-0909 or Natalia@PassingThroughGrief.com
Her website is http://Pa...