by Mica B. Estrada for the Psychology Today Blog

“This experience [with my grandmother’s death] made me realize it isn’t easy to know what deeds or words to provide to people when they are in the midst of grief.   To learn more about what is helpful, I asked Carl Magruder, a Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplain with ResolutionCare, what his advice would be for people wanting to be supportive, kind and helpful to someone who just experienced a significant loss.  These are the words he offered:

Transcend your desire to make it better. The spiritual paradox of creating a space for grief is to utterly transcend your own desire to make it better, “fix” anything or change the way the grieving person is feeling.  Grief is a normal, healthy response to loss.1  Just as life and death are two sides of the same coin, so are love and grief. Let it be.  There is magic in your presence, accompaniment, acceptance, and bearing witness to another’s grief.  Breathe it through.”

Read the rest of Estrada’s article, including more of Carl’s suggestions for being present for those who are grieving, at the Psychology Today blog.