When we watch a loved one going through the grieving process it can be emotionally draining for us as well. It’s hard to watch someone we love struggle and it’s human nature to want to do whatever possible to help them through their grief obstacles.

If you’re wondering what grief obstacles are, there are many. Funeral preparations, first holidays without a loved one, struggling to accept the loss, and anniversaries of deaths are all grief obstacles that stand between us and acceptance. Thankfully, for loved ones who are struggling through the grief and bereavement process, there are ways to help them.

Serve as a Guiding Hand during Funeral Preparations

One of the hardest things after losing someone is having to deal with the service and funeral preparations. We’ve just found out a loved one is gone and we’re forced to spring into action to take care of details like choosing readings, writing eulogies, and choosing the appropriate flowers. When a loved one loses someone, one of the best things you can do for them is to serve as a guiding hand as they plan the funeral or service. This is one of the first and hardest grief obstacles to conquer because the pain is so new, intense, and raw, so any support and help you can offer during this time is essential. Offer to be the point of contact for the funeral home, come up with music selection for your loved one, or contact the florist to direct floral arrangements. Whatever we can do to help our loved ones hurdle this first obstacle will be much appreciated.

Offer Comfort and Support

In order to help loved ones through the grieving process, one of the most important things we can do is just be there for them. Times are going to be hard and they will constantly be hitting barriers, but by providing comfort and support we can help them through it. Let your loved one know that you are there for them, for the late night cry sessions and the early morning “I miss them” phone calls. And, let them know that it’s okay to express their emotions. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to lean on someone. Serving as an unbiased sounding board and shoulder to cry on is one of the best ways to help a loved one through grief obstacles.

Celebrate Life & Recognize Loss

Many people make the mistake of shying away from recognizing death, but this can actually be detrimental to a loved one going through the grieving process. If a holiday is coming up, be sure to check in. Ask how they’re doing without the deceased and broach subjects like “who will carve the turkey” or “who is going to dress the tree” if that is something the deceased commonly did. By broaching the subject and encouraging open dialogue we can help through trying times.

Give a Meaningful Sympathy Gift

Another way that we can help loved ones through grief is by giving them a touching and meaningful sympathy gift. The important thing is to pick a sympathy gift that will truly mean something to them. With so many generic options on the market, it’s important to choose one that will speak to their heart and help them through the grieving process.

For a loved one that used to sit on the porch with their husband, sister, father or mother and read books, a touching personalized memorial wind chime is the perfect gift. Now, when they sit on the porch to continue the tradition, they’ll feel the presence of their deceased loved one as the light breeze rustles through the finely tuned windchimes.

An avid gardener will enjoy a custom memorial garden plaque. They’ll feel like the presence of their husband just as they did when he used to watch her gardening from the back-kitchen window.

See how these thoughtful gifts have true meaning? Sometimes showing someone we care is simple. Just show them. With thoughtful sympathy gifts like this, we can show our loved ones that we are there for them and help them through grief obstacles.

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