We’re only halfway through November, but this month has already been a devastating month for my family. From one loss to another beloved family member getting put on hospice; my husband and I have been hit pretty hard with reality. Although, we’ve dealt with loss before, I feel like this time, we dealt with it differently.
Here are some of the best ways a spouse can be supportive during a loss without overstepping their boundaries or coming off as not caring:
1. Be sensitive and understanding. Don’t get upset when she starts acting a little withdrawn and wants her space. People grieve in different ways. Often people desire to be alone while they are grieving. Just be sure to let her know you are there for her if she needs you.
2. Be there, even if that means taking the day off of work. Depending on the loss, your spouse may need you to be there – like right now. If that means missing work or coming home early, be willing to do it.
3. Volunteer to go to the funeral with one another. We all know you don’t like funerals, but no one ever wants to beg someone to go to a funeral with them. Volunteer to take her and don’t complain.
4. Cook, take care of the kids. The last thing anyone who just experienced a loss should have to worry about is taking care of making food or even taking care of children. If possible, be there and let her rest, relax and do what she needs to do to feel better.
5. Talk to each other, go through memories. After a devastating loss, many people will reflect back on memories that will make them smile, laugh and cry – go through these with her. Even if you hated the person, talk to her and come up with every memory and laugh/cry together.
Although, there is no right way to handle a death of a loved-one, having someone be there will most definitely help. Often how you act during a loss, will become a turning point for any relationship. You may end up loving each other more or you may always wonder why they weren’t there for you when you really needed it.
*This is not expert advise. Please see a professional for more ways to deal with a loss.