Debbie was a stay-at-home mom of four young boys when her husband passed away unexpectedly. At 35, she was thrust into widowhood. “In an instant, my worst fear became my reality. An unchangeable reality,” writes Debbie, in this blog post. Debbie, who is a fitness coach, recalls the weeks immediately following her husband’s death as a “fog” in which many well-wishers stepped up to help.
Several of Debbie’s tips for helping others grieve relate to our ministry’s Caregiving Basics—four basic guidelines to help ensure that you offer loved ones the attention and support that they need. Here are a few examples of caregiving that Debbie experienced during her time of grief:
Of prayer, Debbie shares, “I have never experienced so much prayer and I now realize the impact it has.”
Listen. “Allow the griever to talk and share and vent and cry and throw stuff and to be silent. Don’t always feel the need to fill the silence,” Debbie shared with us.
Respect the grief journey by not hiding behind false cheer. “I appreciated friends who would say, ‘I cannot believe he is gone. This is so awful and hard,’” remembers Debbie.
Please also remember that no matter what the griever is going through, you must preserve their dignity. Avoid making assumptions. Instead, ask questions to know what the griever would like. Debbie appreciated when people would ask, “Is it Ok if I bring up your spouse’s name, or would you prefer not to talk about him?”
As Debbie illustrates, Wisdom of the Wounded’s caregiving basics are simple everyday actions that help people during a time of grief.
Thank you, Debbie for sharing your wisdom with us.
If you would like more information about helping someone who is grieving, visit our website’s grief page. You may also find our post, Tips for Widows helpful as well as our e-book 122+ Ways to Care Well.
About Debbie: Debbie Wilkins Baisden is co-leader of Momsanity, a community of Moms striving to achieve balance through physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. She is the mother of four sons, ages 9-13.