In a word, don’t.
And I say that because unless you know what you are doing, you might cause more grief and hurt. Most of us get anxious around people who grieve because we are scared of loss ourselves, even if we are not conscious of it. Most of us don’t know how to behave around loss and grief, even if we have experienced some personal loss of our own.
If you really want to help, just be Present for them. People have their own grieving processes. Everyone is different. If need be, you tap for your own anxiety and helplessness around loss and grief.
Some of the LEAST helpful things to say when some one has lost a loved one:
Don’t worry, you’ll get over it, you’ll be all right.
It’s meant to happen.
Now you are the man of the house.
He has gone to heaven.
I know how you feel.
Don’t cry, it’s all right.
What did you do to make that happen…. why didn’t you….
Change yourself to change others….
If you have to say something, here’s a suggestion from someone who had recently lost a loved one.
“I dont know what to do or say but I’m here for you. I’m here to support you in the way that you need me to. I don’t have the answers and may be I’m scared that I will say/do the wrong thing, so may be I may seem uncomfortable. But I’m here for you.”
If you have some experience with personal tragedy, and have suggestions for people who want to “help”, please feel free to comment – what was most helpful? what was least helpful? how did you want to be supported?
In memory of Daniel Herrmann.
This was written for a client who needed help in achieving a true and lasting forgiveness (as oppose to temporary suppression with the distinct certainty of lashing out on reflex). This can be used generally for when you find it hard to forgive and let go, and you care enough to want to.
If you are new to EFT and tapping please check the section on EFT Basics for the basic tapping technique. Please also include the karate chop point or the psychological reversal point as part of your routine. You may also want to repeat each paragraph once or twice until you feel the intensity subside before moving on to the next one. Take it slow and let it work. Some of this is meant to be provocative, some of it is meant to inject humour in a tense situation. It may not work for everyone, please amend according to your own needs and nature. Good luck.
“I have so many conflicted thoughts about this issue. I don’t understand how he/she could do this to me…… Parts of me want to forgive and move on, other parts of me want to bash his brains in and gorge his eyes out, may be swipe him with a tiger’s claw (well, you get the picture, use your own words)….. I acknowledge the hurt, anger, betrayal, hate, helplessness, bereavement, insecurity, alienation (add emotions that you feel) inside, there isn’t anyone I could tell this to, I am all alone. I embrace all the parts of me who are hurting, fearful and angry. I acknowledge that you all have a right to be here, and that the emotions you feel are valid. I embrace you, and thank you for carrying all my pain.
Parts of me feel justified in holding on to my anger, because my anger protects me, because I am entitled to my anger, because he deserves my anger. My anger gives me a high, letting go of my anger may mean that I only feel grief and fear, I don’t want to let my anger go. I am may be even enjoying my anger. I enjoy holding this over his/her head. I like the idea that I can swipe at him/her and take revenge whenever he/she least expects me. I have a right to swipe, and I like that. I thank my anger for wanting to protect me.
I acknowledge that there are all these conflicted emotions and thoughts within me, and it’s ok to be not ok. But there are other parts of me who want to be ready to move on, and leave the past in the past, parts of me who want to experience real forgiveness, so that the past does not taint my future, so that I can live anger-free / fear-free / grief-free / pain-free from this event, may be sometime today, may be sometime tomorrow. I ask my subconscious mind to find a few other ways for me to express my positive intention behind my anger/fear/grief/pain, so that I can be free of my anger/fear/grief/pain, and so that I can forgive and have true freedom to live my life without reference to this event/person.
I was hurt, but i now choose to heal my wounded children within, I now choose to be at the highest expression of who I am. I choose to be calm, confident, free and strong. I choose to be happy. I choose to be still. I choose peace.
I choose to truely forgive and release, because I choose freedom from this. True forgiveness is freedom.”
If you are new to EFT and tapping please check the section on EFT Basics for the basic tapping technique.
This is for dealing with the emotional soup of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Please do each section 3 times before moving on to the next one, so that you are gentle with yourself.
“I want to heal and get over this loss, but I feel guilty. I feel empty, abandoned and alone, and I want to get over this, but I don’t. I want to move on, but I don’t. I want to be happy again, but I don’t. I want to put down this emotional soup and get over this, but I don’t. I want to be able to function in the world, but I don’t. I deeply and completely accept my conflict, I profoundly and unconditionally love myself, accept myself, forgive myself, and anybody else, maybe, for contributing to this.
I miss him, and by missing him I feel like he’s still there with me, I don’t want to forget his face, his voice, his love. I want to hold on to my memories, my pain, my grief, my loss. I feel angry and betrayed, and I can’t understand why he was taken from me. But maybe there’s a different way to remember him. But maybe it’s possible to remember him (at some point) only with love, only with gratitude that we had this time together, that he has given me so much strength. May be at some point I will remember him only with a smile, with warmth. Maybe at some point, remembering him will give me only strength and affirm that life is good.
I now choose to take steps towards embracing my pain, my hurt, my loss. I choose to acknowledge my despair and loneliness. I deeply and completely love myself, accept myself, and I forgive myself, I forgive him, and I forgive anyone else, who contributed to my hurt. Even though I keep looking to others to make me feel better, I feel needy and seek others to lean on, I choose to accept myself.
Even though I feel like a victim, powerless and helpless, feel like I will never get out of this pit of loneliness and despair, nor see any light of peace or happiness. I embrace all my emotions, I honour my emotions, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and my emotions and forgive myself, I choose to learn to be friends with my emotions, to listen to them, to learn from them and to calm them. Even though I feel very desperate now and I am at a loss for what to do next, I choose to know that I am the master of my own life, even when it doesn’t feel like it, I am the author of my own destiny, just as I have allowed bad things to happen, I now choose to manifest good things in my life. I choose for love and light to enter and light up my life. I choose to find a reason feel grateful every day, even when it all seems dark and hopeless. … I choose freedom… I choose peace, courage, joy, love, calm, ease, centeredness, stillness, strength.”
More on dealing with the loss of a loved one. If you are new to EFT and tapping please check the section on EFT Basics for the basic tapping technique.
I feel so lost and alone, and I am beating myself up for my lack of control. I don’t know how to do “helpless”, I hate when I melt down in front of people at the drop of a hat, I hate that I don’t have any control over my tears, my emotions, it’s not ok for me to be not ok, I have things that need to be done, and people I need to take care of, but I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.
I am at a loss, so many things frazzle me, I feel scared, I can’t cope, I feel overwhelmed, I hate being like this, I don’t know how to do helpless. I feel bad about being sad around my friends. But I forgive myself, and anyone else for contributing to this situation. Even though I was forced to confront my mortality, and the fragility of human life, and I am really shaken, I now choose to find my center again.
Even though I am beating myself up, because it’s not ok to be not ok, that’s ok. I acknowledge that I suffered the biggest loss in my life. My whole world just turned upside down. It’s ok to be not ok. Even though I really want to get over this, and move on, a part of me doesn’t. A part of me thinks that holding on to my grief and suffering, I am holding on to him. A part of me is beating the other part up for wanting to be able to cope. I acknowledge that I may have some conflicted feelings about this. And I deeply and completely love and accept myself, my complex acknowledged and unacknowledged feelings, I forgive myself, and anyone else who may or may not have contributed to this situation.
Even though I still feel anxious, frightened, brokenhearted, bereaved, dread, off-balanced…. I deeply and completely love and accept myself, I forgive myself, and anyone else who contributed to this situation. I now choose to be calm and confident. I now choose to be still and peaceful. I now choose stability, strength,. I now choose to be grounded, centered. I now choose to nurture myself and honour my emotions, and allow myself this time to grief, to reminisce, and then to heal.