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Responding To Bereavement: To Be And To Do

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Responding to Bereavement: to Be and to Do

by Rea L. Ginsberg LCSW-C, ACSW, BCD

Posted Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013, It's Ok To Die Blog

As a society in general, we Americans seem to prefer “doing” rather than “being.” When someone dies, we feel that we have to “do” something for the bereaved, not “be” something. Wait: think. Just sit and listen. That’s better. That’s “being.” The gift of self is greater than the effort to act. Action too often minimizes the grief of the bereaved. It surrenders to an impulse to turn away from death and grief pain. It tends to deny death. Doing tends to minimize grief and maximize denial.

That is exactly the opposite of what the bereaved person needs and wants most. His first and primary response to loss is always a sense of aloneness. This is a simple law of gravity. His greatest need is connection with others. The greatest need is to be with others who will listen and hold a hand and try to understand the pain of loss. To be heard is to be respected and valued. It affirms life and health and growth. It is a small candle of light into a future that temporarily appears dim.

- Read on here: http://www.oktodie.com/blog/responding-to-bereavement-to-be-and-to-do-by-rea-l-ginsberg-lcsw-c-acsw-bcd/

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