Tips to Help A Loved One Heal

I’ve come across my fair share of “insensitive” folk in my life when I have been dealing with death or the loss of a relationship.  Here are my top tips and reasons for them, to assist others who are struggling with life’s inevitable losses and challenges.

Don’t tell someone who has lost anyone to “cheer up”.
Don’t tell anyone at any time when dealing with a death or in fact anything in their life that has created upset, at any time, that they are just going to have to get over it, or that they are just feeling sorry for themselves.
1. Dealing with loss is a process & the closer the person was to another the deeper the grief & adjustment to life without that other person there is, whether that be by physical death or separation.
2. People are not unintelligent enough to not know that they will get through anything they are dealing with, as there is no getting over anything, there is only getting through.
3. The later of the two is likely to create a reaction that makes the receiver of that statement, want to give the teller a right hook.
To assist anyone to get through anything you only need two things –
Your ears to listen and your arms to hug if you know the receiver is open to a hug.
Ask yourself before you open your mouth “How would I feel in this situation?”, whatever that situation is.
Often just listening is the medicine required to assist another to get through anything because as they speak they are releasing whatever is churning within them.
Also in many cases, they are clearing their own heads & in the process coming to their own solutions about what they need to do for themselves.
To jump in with “advice” when advice was not actually asked for only serves to disempower the other person & more than likely will do more damage to them as well as create more upset.
Remember you are not in anyone’s life to play Mr or Mrs Fix It.
Asking timely pondered questions is often the most helpful thing you can do, as they lead another to their own realisations. If they cry good, hand them a tissue, make them a cuppa don’t ask “What’s wrong?” For nothing is wrong they are releasing their pain.
If you are not comfortable bearing witness to another’s grief or whatever process about anything they are dealing with that is your issue, not theirs.
It is kinder to remove yourself and perhaps suggest they speak with a Counsellor than it is to open your mouth and spout unthought about comments.
Copyright: C. O’Connor, November 2018.
Image © Copyright 2015-2018 Psychological Health Care.


I shared a quote on my Facebook Page Cheoco Enterprises some time ago now “Speak your truth EVEN if your voice shakes.”

I did so because it reminded me of many events in my life when I have needed to do this but one event, a very long time ago now, came to mind most when I saw this quote.

It was at a time when I was faced with one of those situations where you truly do not know what it is best to do, speak or remain silent. So as always my general rule of “When in doubt do nothing” applied until I was certain what my action would or would not be.

I also shared that quote because the memory of the particular situation brought with it how very valuable it can be to know what certain things mean for you symbolically in this so-called waking reality. In my last article I shared with you the discovery of the value of treating life as a dream and how it assists us to navigate our lives with a depth of vision and guidance which many of us wouldn’t normally usually even consider.

In relation to speaking my truth I came to a realisation many, many moons ago that when we act with honesty and integrity all we do is right after endless debates with myself where part of me would be wondering whether I was doing the right thing in whatever situation I was dealing with. Self-doubt would often debate with “knowing” but self-doubt is a whole other article.

The situation I was faced with was one where I knew that to speak would change a very limited view a group of people held about something on one hand and on the other to speak also felt like a huge betrayal of trust. To share what I thought I needed to and was feeling compelled to share would, I sensed, be of benefit to many as the realisation of an entirely different cause for certain behaviour would definitely have a ripple/flow on effect that would then assist even more people. The other aspect to it all was that I was still very raw emotionally from the truth I had discovered around the whole thing.

The dilemma in head and heart I faced was a challenging one indeed, to say the least. I had made the decision that I could not remain silent due to the many that would be assisted by what I had to say and I recall sitting outside a building waiting to speak to this group of people. Inside I was a trembling mess as my head and heart were both pulling me in different directions now, heart saying stay and speak as you have organised to do, head and fear saying get the hell out of here – NOW!! It was a moment of great anxiety as two parts of me were still debating even though a decision had been made and of the observer part of myself listening to this debate being caught smack bang in the middle of a flight or fight response from the other two parts of me.

It was in the midst of this mind/heart dilemma with only minutes to go before I would be called into the meeting that a Crow cawed several times. Crow for me is always symbolic of speaking my truth – there is much more to Crow but I can cover that in a later article. For now, speaking truth is what is most relevant about Crow’s presence in this story.

As I looked to the Sky to see where Crow was situated I found him in the East. Direction of new beginnings for me, along with a huge cloud shaped like an Elephant. As I watched this Elephant cloud its form started changing and it went from having its trunk lowered to rising it within a matter of moments as an Elephant does when they trumpet. At the moment when the trunk was at its highest point Crow cawed out again.

The message was very simple – be strong like the Elephant and speak your truth for new beginnings will come from it.

So yep I stayed. Walking into that room was hard as my legs were shaking and I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. Speaking was difficult due to the sadness that was emerging at the same time for it is rare I can speak when I am releasing sadness and as my voice quivered and shook and my eyes leaked like rapidly dripping taps, I could see through my blurred vision by the stunned looks on the faces of all present what they had heard and seen the truth of, had indeed been a major wakeup call that they would now most certainly need to act on and I left that meeting knowing with everything in me I had done what was right.

There has been much of value I have learned and been gifted with during my life but I think and feel one of the greatest gifts I have ever received was the moment I realised I didn’t at all have to have a dream to assist me in guiding my life. That life constantly speaks to me through images, sounds, synchronicity and signs and what those things mean to me symbolically.

Cheers, Cheryl.

© Cheryl O’Connor 2014.


‪#‎Cheryl‬ O’Connor.
‪#‎Holistic‬ ‪#‎Counsellor‬, Author & Writer.

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