As a country we are mourning the tragedy in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. This devastating loss took our youth in the midst of our national pastime, hockey.
As we face grief, here are some ideas to offer support or to realize – I am not alone:
- Grief is focused on storytelling. We help by listening not struggling for an answer (which makes it about me not them).
- We validate loss and depth of love when we use their loved one’s name. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the loved one.
- Rituals and remembrances create continuing bonds to the loved one. Validate however they express this, each person is unique, and we can honour them by validating this extremely important step.
- We help by expressing permission and freedom, normalizing the continued bond with the lost loved one however they express the bond (image, journal, clothing item, etc.) We don’t want to make someone feel “weird” for choosing something different then we would.
- Grieving is exhausting. We help by telling (not asking) them we will be by with a meal, pick up a child, or any other way we can help. Answering questions or making decisions are too draining for the grieving individual.
- We can “Weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15b) Entering someone’s pain to just be with them is a gift.