How to support someone after a major loss

In this “Maggie Moment” Australian parenting author and educator Maggie Dent draws on her many years of experience in palliative care support and the funeral industry to talk about how we can support someone who’s faced a major loss experience such as:

* a sudden, unexpected death
* loss of a home through a bushfire
* loss of a community due to natural disaster
* birth of a baby born sleeping
* miscarriage.

Maggie says when people are facing major loss, they need family and friends around them… they only need ‘experts’ when their grief gets stuck. She advises what you can do to be a REAL support for someone who’s grieving a loss.

Maggie talks about allowing all the big feelings that are a normal part of grief, being sensitive not to offer up platitudes or putting your own beliefs and experiences onto theirs. How can you offer practical support? What specific steps can you take to minimise their pain and overwhelm, and support them in making less day-to-day decisions while they’re grieving? How comfortable can you be in the presence of grief?

If you’re supporting someone who’s faced a loss, remember there is huge power in turning up.

For more resources on this, visit Maggie’s dedicated page on death and loss here. And you may wish to take a listen to this episode of the ABC’s Parental As Anything podcast with Maggie Dent on helping children cope with death and loss here.