Losing someone isn’t easy, especially when someone is lost to drugs. It’s hard to know how to support their friends and family.
The important thing is to be there for people. Care takes many different forms. The types of care someone will need change throughout time.
Here are five ways you can support someone who has lost a loved one.
- Make Time for Them
Time is usually the most precious gift you can give.
Everyone is busy. There is always so much going on in the world.
It can be hard to make time for someone.
Make the effort.
Do whatever you need to do to make time for them.
Scheduling your meetings and time spent together might seem impersonal.
If it works, it’s worth it.
Set aside meaningful time to spend with them.
Don’t spend your time together on your phones or doing nothing.
Ask what they would like to do. See about taking up a new hobby with them.
Find fun activities that you will remember.
Offer to cook them a meal. Or take them out somewhere nice for dinner.
Listen to what they have to say.
Be prepared for the fact that they might not want to talk about their loss.
They might need to get their mind off of things.
- Find Meaningful Experiences
Create new memories.
They will probably be triggered by things that remind them of their loss.
Avoid activities that involve drugs or alcohol. This is especially important if the person has substance abuse problems themselves.
Addiction tends to run in families.
Ask if they need help, too. It’s not a bad idea to look into a recovery center like Hollywood Hills Recovery.
They might not even be aware that they have a problem.
Or they could turn to substance abuse to try and cope with their loss.
Grieving is never an easy process.
Do what you can to encourage a clean mourning period.
Don’t drink around them if it triggers bad memories. Encourage them to take up healthy activities like hiking or reading. Do these activities together.
It’s important that you give them a chance to heal.
- Remember Their Loved One
Remembering is part of the healing process.
At certain moments, it might be easier to ignore problems.
Sometimes ignoring issues might even be necessary. They might need to forget or look the other way. Don’t pressure them.
When the time is right, take the time to acknowledge the loss.
This looks different for each person.
Maybe do something that their loved one enjoyed doing.
Focus on the happy memories of the loved one’s life. Don’t dwell on drugs and addiction. Every life is full of ups and downs.
After a loss, most people are afraid of mentioning their loved one.
They are afraid of bringing up sad emotions. Sad emotions shouldn’t be viewed as bad or negative.
They are an important part of grief.
- Discover Their Love Language
Everyone communicates affection in a unique way.
People receive affection uniquely, too. Discover what their love language is.
Here are some ways to show you care from Psych Central.
It’s important to say you care for someone. But it’s just as important to show it. Pay attention to what they value.
Some people show affection by giving gifts.
Others feel uncomfortable with gifts and material objects.
Many people value time spent together. Most value physical touch.
Be aware that not everyone likes physical contact.
Don’t touch someone who doesn’t want to be touched. This will only make things worse.
It might take time to discover what someone likes.
- Share Your Experiences
Everyone has experienced loss of some sort.
Share your experience without taking away from theirs.
Don’t turn things into a competition of grief.
And don’t tell them that they should grieve the way you did.
Instead, share what worked for you.
Admit that you don’t know how they feel but that you feel sorry for them.
Showing you care is the most important thing.
They probably feel very alone, but everyone knows what it is like to experience loss.
Remind them that you’re there.
Loss is never easy. It’s a healing process that takes time. But you will get through it.