Friday, May 1, 2009

Guest Post: If Someone You Love Is Hurting - C.A.R.E.

Written by a beautiful lady who has the "Interrupted Expectations" of infertility.

If Someone You Love Is Hurting--C.A.R.E.

Connect – When someone is hurting, we often don’t know what to say or do. This can lead us to act as if nothing has happened or avoid the person experiencing the loss. We don’t want to cause more hurt, so we stay away. But this actually makes things worse. Find some way to connect and acknowledge the loss. Even simply expressing, “I don’t know what to say but I’m sorry and I care about you,” can make a tremendous difference.

Accept – When we try to help someone, it’s easy to try to direct their emotions or give advice. We might want to say something like, “You’ll see them again one day in heaven.” But statements like these minimize the loss. In order for healing to happen, emotions need to be shared freely and openly. Remember that emotions are not a sin. They are just messages about what someone is experiencing. Accept others and allow them to express sadness, anger, fear, frustration, and other emotions in your presence.

Respond – While it is helpful to express your concern, it is also important to respond to the loss by doing something. You may say, “Let me know if you need anything.” But the person may be too sad to pick up the phone or may not want to impose. You can do something practical like bringing a meal, babysitting, or running an errand. You can also do something more symbolic like donating to a charity in honor of the loved one, writing down a special memory in a letter, or giving a thoughtful gift.

Extend – Remember that people are often flooded with attention when a loss first occurs but support usually decreases over time. So whatever timeframe you think you should reach out to the person, extend it. Most losses take one to three years to grieve. Some losses, like infertility, don’t have a definite ending point. So put reminders on your calendar to continue being in touch and acknowledging the loss. Grief usually peaks at about one year after the loss but by then everyone else has moved on. By remembering and continuing to reach out, you can help bring comfort and healing.

About the author: Holley Gerth is an award-winning writer and editorial director for DaySpring. She is also the author of Rain on Me: Devotions of Hope and Encouragement for Difficult Times. Visit Holley online at Heart to Heart with Holley

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