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How to support a loved one dealing with loss and grief

Often, different circumstances in life change the course of our lives, entirely. Sometimes these circumstances make us feel good, but sometimes they cause us deep pain. Loss is a major event in someone’s life, completely throwing them off their plan or expected the path of actions. Often, we find ourselves in a situation when someone we care for, is grieving the loss of something or someone important. While we wish to extend our support to those grieving, we sometimes find ourselves at a loss for what to do.

The Kubler-Ross Model


While this model has been adapted to suit different perspectives and contexts better, the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross model of grief took us through a five-stage process of grief, as faced by the person dealing with the loss.






When this model was theorized, it was believed that the person suffering from the grief was going through these different stages consecutively. However, further investigations into this showed the world two new important aspects – the stages are not consecutive, and the emotions that someone close to the suffering person feels are contextually different. At Team Illuminations, we understand your need to help your loved one through their suffering, and so we believe that it is of utmost importance for you to understand how you are affected and what role you play in this situation.

How to support someone dealing with loss


When your loved one loses someone they loved to illnesses or accidents, or even when it is the falling through of a relationship, they are bound to suffer from the blow. When they suffer from a blow, it changes them in some way forever – which can impact their daily functioning and eventually, yours too. Here are a few ways you can support them through this unfortunate time.



They will need to vent. They will want to make sense of things that do not make sense to them, even if the answer is obvious to you. One way to support them is by patiently listening to them, as they work on figuring it out. They should know that it is okay for them to feel the way they do, and that they are safe with you. You will not be able to solve their problem, but you will be able to provide them with a sense of belonging that can help them cope with the pain.



It is important for them to know that you respect them. Everybody copes with loss differently, and it might seem strange to you if they don’t cope with it the way you or someone else you have observed would.

Don’t try to fix it


You will not be able to fix what happened, no matter how good your intentions are. Let the person be. Open up your heart to them and let them feel safe in your company. You will not be able to take the pain away, no matter what you do.

Help them with their routine


When dealing with loss, people often feel crippled even to carry out the most normal, routine tasks that they have been used to carrying out. You can help them in the smallest of ways, by helping out with food, cleaning up, and even taking their dog for a walk! Help them in the small ways till they get back on their own feet, which they will eventually.

Just show up


Sometimes they will not want to vent, cry or talk. Sometimes, they just want to sit in silence or even distract themselves by watching a movie or going for a walk. Show up and do this with them. Let them pick the activity they feel up to doing, and you can show your solidarity by doing it with them.

Help them consult with a therapist


For someone who has just undergone a major loss, it is difficult for them to be entirely conscious of the fact that professional help could be good for them, so as to help them cope, using scientific healing techniques. As their supporter, you can choose to take them to a therapist, who can impart his/her knowledge and training to help provide the right direction and advice.

Illuminations Well-Being Centre is a renowned depression treatment center in Dubai and we have been recognized as the pioneers of providing a holistic center for Depression treatment in Dubai, Depression therapy in Dubai has become widely sought out, as more and more people understand that therapy can help you cope with grief. For state-of-the-art life coaching in Dubai to help your loved one deal with the pain that comes with loss, book an appointment with our trained practitioners here.

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  • ปั้มไลค์

    September 6, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • Karen

    September 16, 2019 at 8:39 am

    The advice given here is absolutely spot on. I love it. I couldn’t be more useful.

    However, The KR model (from a parental perspective – at this stage) needs to go in the bin and here is my view.

    I have lost grandparents. a parent, uncles and a now my own son. Each of my grief experiences have been profoundly different. the most devastating is and forever will be, the loss of my child. I cannot identify any stages outlined by KR and why should Ii . My grief is my grief. It’s a personal journey that cannot be ‘modelled’ because it is impossible, given that I am a unique individual.

    I accepted the death of my father, and grandparents and uncles – . I felt utter sadness when my uncles and grandparents died but I didn’t linger on it. I was still feeling very sad at my father’s early departure from this world, right up until when my son was killed. Then, I was hit with a tsunami of emotion that could not be categorised, boxed off or fixed. My world was shattered into a million pieces never to be formed into a whole again. How could it be. A piece of my word is forever physically missing. My heart was smashed into two and life is now life before, and life after. It’s too painful to look back and too painful to look forward. The ripple effect has been astonishing and far reaching.

    I read EKR’s book ‘On Death and Dying’ and I have read around this model. As someone grieving the loss of a child, I confess, it irks me quite a lot when anyone quotes this at me. Perhaps it’s different for a parent but this model has roused me enough, to seriously research how others on their grief journey in the various different categories (grandparents/siblings/sons/daughter’s etc) feel about psychs. etc quoting it. I don’t even know why there is a need to set this out to anyone grieving loss. I don’t feel (as do many others in a similar position) it helps because all it does is make those grieving, feel as if they are a bit crackers when their grief doesn’t fit the boxes. What is the purpose of it really? KR developed this model for those who were in the end stages of life.

    I was so intrigued to see if I was the only person in the world that felt cross about a model to define my grief (being used out of context) that I felt compelled to ask the question in a group on Facebook (worldwide) – Helping Parents Heal. The response has been overwhelming.

    Only one person felt the model fitted her grief journey, 3 others said perhaps bargaining was an element to. The rest (over 100 comments) varied in their responses ranging from pure vitriol, to frustration, to stating it was never meant to be used in the context personal grief to, completely writing the model off . One person suggested that all comments should be collated and put into a document to pass on to Grief Counsellors, Psychologist and the like to say – this model does not fit those who are grieving – perhaps not parents. More research required I think – not least to debunk the myth, but to protect grieving parents at least from those generalised assumptions that serve only to add more confusion and angst to an already emotional journey which sadly will never include ‘acceptance’.

    I will let you know what my research reveals but it may be a while yet! 😉

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