Tips for Comforting a Grieving Partner
Samuel and Anita had been dating for five months when one day, Sam came to Anita’s place distraught and in clear anguish. He had been called, while still at work that his sister who was paraplegic due to polio had just died. The cause of her death was a hit and run. She had called him earlier, about two hours before he received the call informing him of her death. She requested that he come pick her up because she wanted to go to the store a few blocks away from where they stayed together. He’d told her he still had a couple of things to take care of at the office and would work late so she should wait for him or she could tell him what she wanted and he could get them on his way home. She had blatantly refused insisting she would wait for him for an hour and if he did not show up, she would leave by herself. Samuel had called her bluff and cut the call. Now, he was ridden with self-guilt and he blamed himself. Anita tried to explain that it wasn’t his fault but Samuel had convinced himself it was.
Almost immediately after the burial, Samuel turned to alcohol. He lost his job a month later and soon after that, Anita left him, as she had no idea how to help him.
Somethings are worse than death and what Samuel went through was one of them.
I am going to be listing five things Anita could have done for Samuel.
- Remove alcohol bottles in sight: the hypothesis is when there is enough food in the stomach; there will not be space for alcohol. It would not have been easy tracking his everyday meals but coming over to prepare homemade meals or ordering take-outs for both of them would go a long way. She should have gotten rid of everything and anything alcohol.
- Take him on a trip: some people might want to drown themselves in their work or lock themselves in their rooms drinking and being so angry with themselves but this is not helpful. They need to do fun things with people who love them especially the things they did with the person they lost. Anita could have let Samuel understand he should not avoid thinking of his sister; instead, it was okay to think of her and do things they both loved to do together.
- Reaffirming words: Anita should have reaffirmed her love and commitment to him. That she would be there for him always but subtly reminded him that his actions were hurting both him, her, and their relationship.
- Pray: this is probably the most important point. Praying for grace to help him through his troubles and pain helps.
- Make him see a therapist: no matter what she did, the fact his Samuel needed professional help, something she could not provide for him. She should have consulted with people who had gone through something similar and survived that phase of their lives, then reached out to a therapist to provide help for Samuel.
In conclusion, you and your partner have been there for each other no matter what happens, especially regarding sensitive matters like the loss of a loved one, a job, or a lawsuit. This is because making a relationship work takes two people and asides from the fact you are dating you are friends too.
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