Chapter 4: Supporting the person
When someone has communication challenges, they may not have the words to express their grief. The people around them may not recognize that the person is grieving.
Time, space, and flexibility are key ingredients when planning activities. Below are some examples of activities that you might invite the grieving person to share with you to help them work through some of their grief feelings. Click on each for additional information.
- Talking: sharing stories and feelings; asking questions.
- Talking about the person who died and keeping a connection with them.
- Creating a memorial ritual.
- Making a memory book/scrapbook or a memory box.
- Drawing, painting, or listening to music as a means of non-verbal expression.
- Going to the cemetery.
- Planting a tree or garden.
- Reading a book about grief.
- Looking through photos or videos of the person who has died.
You can play an important role in the development of a grief-informed “community of care” for the person you are supporting. This may include educating the people within that person’s circle of care or may extend beyond that circle to your broader community.
What may help
Acknowledge that the person is aware of changes in their environment and routine, and talk about why these are happening. Try to minimize change in their environment.