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Support in Times of Loss

Hey Social Nanny readers! So glad that you have joined me today for a special post that interrupts our series on kids throughout their stages of life.

This past Sunday, the world seemed to stand still as the news that Kobe Bryant, along with 8 other people, had died in a helicopter crash. It was unexpected and sudden, and I will admit that it shook me to the core. Why, I cannot completely say. Maybe the stark wording of the initial headlines, the disbelief among everyone I came into contact with, or the sorrow that filled me when I learned that his daughter, Gianna, was also a victim of the crash and that his wife and 3 other daughters would now have to live without their sister and father.

We as people all experience loss in some way or another. In the event of loss, here are a few things that I’ve found as a caregiver and friend that I can do to support those who experience it. If you are a caregiver or a friend, these are things that I’ve learned and gleaned from others over the years.

1.) Pray

Prayer is POWERFUL. The Bible says in Psalm 34:18 that God is close to the brokenhearted, and as someone who knows that the Bible is the infallible word of God, I believe this wholeheartedly. We can pray for peace and comfort for those who are walking through the trial, and for strength and joy to replace hopelessness and sorrow. There are wounds that only God can heal, and prayer is a first step in being there for the people that you love.

2.) Give

Giving is something that is an unselfish act, because it requires something of you. Acts 20:35 says that we must help the weak and remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive. In times of sorrow, we can be weak, and we depend on others to help us, to carry the load, and to hold up our hands in battle. Thinking about your friend? Send them a text or give your time and talk with them on the phone. Notice that they seem frazzled and not able to keep up with housework or schedules? Offer to come by and clean or drop off a meal, or come over and watch their kids so that they can escape for an hour or two. Write them a note, pay for lunch, tell them you love them. If you’re a caregiver, do an extra load of laundry or stack the dishwasher. You don’t have to do something extravagant to give, but it can mean the world to someone.

3.) Be. There.

Being there means being present. Being present can be felt in different ways, but mostly by presence and by attention. Is there a funeral coming up? Attend the funeral if you can; clear your schedule and be there physically for your friend. Come over to their house to sit and talk, watch a movie, or go pick up your friend for an outing. Notice that your usually talkative friend seems too quiet and withdrawn? Ask questions: how are you? What are you thinking about? How can I help? What do you need? Can I pray with you? Know your friend’s favorite restaurant? Send them on a surprise dinner. Realize that they are forming destructive habits? Suggest seeing a licensed therapist or counselor and offer to go with them. If you are a caregiver, take notice how the family keeps their house and schedule. Is dinner usually prepared at 5:30? Get it started if the family is running late. Are towels folded a certain way? Are laundry or dishes piling up? Is there something you can do to make sure the kids are calm and satisfied when mom or dad walks through the door?

These are just a few things that you can do to support a friend or client in their time of loss. It can happen suddenly or it can be an anticipated event. Either way, support goes a long way and is always appreciated. Be sure to comment below with some ways that you like to support your friends when they experience a loss.

Join us next week as we continue our talk on kids: high school and teenage years. Until then, this is your Social Nanny.

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