So how should we deal with grief or support a grieving person? Much of the advice given is often incorrect. Becoming distracted, going back to work and ignoring the pain will not necessarily make grieving go away more quickly.
Pretending nothing has happened or being "strong" and unemotional will not help. Feeling very sad, vulnerable and lost are natural and sharing these intimate feelings with those who love you will help the healing process.
Grief is difficult to watch and a grieving person is particularly difficult to support. Many of us wish to avoid thinking about death at all costs, find it uncomfortable to be around those who are mourning, and tend to stay away — a mistake. Supporting a person in mourning does not mean continuing with life as normal or reassuring that all will be better soon.
A true friend will simply be there and do nothing but offer support, love and kindness. Let people deal with grief in their own unique way. Be particular supportive in the weeks and months following a tragedy, when everyone else has gone home, life has returned to normal, when the mourner is alone and not coping.
As our hearts and thoughts reach out to those most affected by these senseless killings, we should all understand that every life is touched by tragedy be it a life threatening illness or the death of a loved one. Having insights into grieving will help make the process understandable and promote eventual healing.
Dr. David Lipschitz is the author of the books "Breaking the Rules of Aging" and "Dr. David's First Health Book of More Not Less." To find out more about Dr. David Lipschitz and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. More information is available at www.DrDavidHealth.com.
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