Losing a spouse is an extremely emotional time. If you have a friend who recently lost his or her partner, you’re likely looking for ways to show your love and support. However, there are some things you might be doing or saying that could make a difficult situation even worse.
Keisha Blair, co-founder of Aspire-Canada and Founder of the soon-to-be-launched website The Modern Widow, was on the receiving end of her share of blunders when she was widowed at the young age of 31, eight weeks after giving birth to her second son. “I realized that young widows lack the support they need because of their specialized needs. Many people don’t know what to say or how to say it. Statements like ‘he’s in a better place,’ when a young spouse is left behind with young babies can sound like an insult,” said Blair.
Do you have a friend who recently lost a spouse? Here are seven blunders you might be making.
Talking about your happy relationship
Your friend is mourning the loss of his or her partner, so the last thing you should do right now is talk about how happy you are in your relationship. Although you might be attempting to give your friend some hope about the future, this is not the way to do it.
Audrey Hope, a relationship expert and addictions specialist at Seasons in Malibu, said it’s important to think before you speak and not do anything that would make you unhappy if it were done to you. “Be unselfish and put yourself in their shoes for just a moment, and imagine what you would need. Your friend [might not be able to] endure hearing of other’s happiness or trips, or romantic moments. Steer clear of talking about what is working in your world. You can really support your friend by just being there, and being near them,” said Hope.