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Five Minute Miracle: How To Help Someone Who’s Experienced A Tragedy

The five stages of grief

Experts used to talk about grief and closure, but it’s now better acknowledged that grieving continues but changes, and there’s a continuing bond with the person who has gone, says Cantwell-Bartl. However, according to the Mental Health Information Service, there are still five main stages.

How to help someone who is grieving

Be patient. Stay in regular contact and organise simple activities that will give the person an opportunity to talk – coffee, lunch or even a phone call.

Be available to listen to the same story over and over – this helps with the feeling of disbelief that comes with loss.

There will be times when grief is particularly intense – for example, on anniversaries and birthdays. Contact at this time can be especially supportive.

Be aware that different cultures have rituals and ways of behaving after a bereavement.

Death ends a life, not a relationship. Don’t change the subject if the deceased’s name comes up.

Avoid well-meaning remarks such as: “She’s lucky to have lived to such a ripe old age”, or “It was God’s will.”

Offer practical help such as doing household tasks or preparing meals.

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