Guest Author - Danielle Deovlet
Death is never easy to deal with. So what do you do when your significant other has experienced the death of someone close to them? Here is some tips to help you through the process of helping your loved one.
Respect their method of grief. Everyone has a different process. Some people like to throw themselves into their work, while some need to take time off. One person might break down and sob many times before they feel better, while another may shed very few tears. Either way, respect whatever it is that your loved one is doing to get themselves through this time.
Disclaimer: If they are exhibiting unhealthy behaviors, such as consistent drinking or use of drugs, please donít accept this as a method of grief. Get the necessary help for your loved one from one of the many organizations out there dedicated to just this purpose.
Let them know you are there for them. This step can be a little bit complicated. Every person has a level of intimacy that they prefer. Make sure you know your partner and how close they would like you to be during this time. If this is a new relationship, or someone you recently met, you can ask. Understand that they need time to take care of things that you canít help them with, but make sure that they know that you are still there as soon as they need you.
Donít add to their stress. If someone is going through a mourning process, make sure to understand that they may do things that arenít like them. They may lash out or freak out. Either way, understand and let them. If this goes on for an excessive amount of time, feel free to call them out on it. For the first week at a minimum, give them full understanding and forgiveness.
Make them smile. This step is even more important for anyone who is dating someone with depression or another mental illness. If your partner is slowly shriveling up due to this death, pull them out of it. Find out what makes them smile (if you donít already know) and do it! This could mean something as simple as a stuffed animal, a new video game, or something else to simply distract. It could also be something as elaborate as kidnapping them for a day of their favorite things. Make sure you cater your ďsmile planĒ to their personality and type of grieving process.