Tips for the Rally Team: How to Support Someone in Their Grief

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February 4, 2019

Header Image Tips for the Rally Team: Supporting Someone in Their Grief Sounds True Blog

Tip #1: Claiming your discomfort allows you to show up and be present. From the griever’s perspective, it’s a huge relief to be around those who are willing to be uncomfortable and show up anyway.

If you aren’t sure you should say something—ask. Err on the side of being present. Your effort really is noticed and appreciated.

Tip #2: Don’t be a cheerleader. When things are dark, it’s OK to be dark. Not every corner needs the bright light of encouragement. In a similar vein, don’t encourage someone to have gratitude for the good things that still exist. Good things and horrible things occupy the same space; they don’t cancel each other out.

Do mirror their reality back to them. When they say, “This entirely sucks,” say, “Yes, it does.” It’s amazing how much that helps.

Tip #3: Don’t talk about “later.” When someone you love is in pain, it’s tempting to talk about how great things are going to be for them in the future. Right now, that future is irrelevant. Stay in the present moment, or if the person is talking about the past, join them there. Allow them to choose.

Tip #4: In all things, not just in grief, it’s important to get consent before giving advice or offering strategies. Ask the person whom you’re supporting, “Are you wanting empathy or a strategy right now?” Respect their answer.

Tip #5: Lean in and hang back. Respond to your friend, be curious and responsive to their needs. At the same time, don’t ask the grieving person to do more work. Observe how things are landing for them, but in those early days, please don’t expect—or demand—that they show up with their normal emotional-relational skills. They do not have them. Asking the grieving person to educate you on how best to help is simply not something they can do.

Excerpted from It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine.

 

Megan Devine Tips for the Rally Team: Supporting Someone in Their Grief Sounds True Blog

Megan Devine is a writer, speaker, and advocate for emotional change on a cultural level. She holds a master’s in counseling psychology. Since the tragic loss of her partner in 2009, Megan has emerged as a bold new voice in the world of grief support. Her contributions via her site Refuge in Grief have helped create sanctuary for those in pain and encouragement for those who want to help. For more, visit refugeingrief.com.

 

 

 

 

It's Ok That You're Not Ok - Tips for the Rally Team: Supporting Someone in Their Grief Sounds True Blog

 

Buy your copy of It’s OK That You’re Not OK at your favorite bookseller!

Sounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Header Image Tips for the Rally Team: Supporting Someone in Their Grief Sounds True Blog

Tip #1: Claiming your discomfort allows you to show up and be present. From the griever’s perspective, it’s a huge relief to be around those who are willing to be uncomfortable and show up anyway.

If you aren’t sure you should say something—ask. Err on the side of being present. Your effort really is noticed and appreciated.

Tip #2: Don’t be a cheerleader. When things are dark, it’s OK to be dark. Not every corner needs the bright light of encouragement. In a similar vein, don’t encourage someone to have gratitude for the good things that still exist. Good things and horrible things occupy the same space; they don’t cancel each other out.

Do mirror their reality back to them. When they say, “This entirely sucks,” say, “Yes, it does.” It’s amazing how much that helps.

Tip #3: Don’t talk about “later.” When someone you love is in pain, it’s tempting to talk about how great things are going to be for them in the future. Right now, that future is irrelevant. Stay in the present moment, or if the person is talking about the past, join them there. Allow them to choose.

Tip #4: In all things, not just in grief, it’s important to get consent before giving advice or offering strategies. Ask the person whom you’re supporting, “Are you wanting empathy or a strategy right now?” Respect their answer.

Tip #5: Lean in and hang back. Respond to your friend, be curious and responsive to their needs. At the same time, don’t ask the grieving person to do more work. Observe how things are landing for them, but in those early days, please don’t expect—or demand—that they show up with their normal emotional-relational skills. They do not have them. Asking the grieving person to educate you on how best to help is simply not something they can do.

Excerpted from It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine.

 

Megan Devine Tips for the Rally Team: Supporting Someone in Their Grief Sounds True Blog

Megan Devine is a writer, speaker, and advocate for emotional change on a cultural level. She holds a master’s in counseling psychology. Since the tragic loss of her partner in 2009, Megan has emerged as a bold new voice in the world of grief support. Her contributions via her site Refuge in Grief have helped create sanctuary for those in pain and encouragement for those who want to help. For more, visit refugeingrief.com.

 

 

 

 

It's Ok That You're Not Ok - Tips for the Rally Team: Supporting Someone in Their Grief Sounds True Blog

 

Buy your copy of It’s OK That You’re Not OK at your favorite bookseller!

Sounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinterest Tips for the Rally Team (3)

Holiday Help for Those in Grief

There is no doubt that the holiday season adds an extra measure of pain to people already bearing more than they can, more than they should ever have to. Death, illness, massive life events — they all sour the season in ways those outside your loss can’t understand.

Whether you’ve always loved the holidays or avoided them as best you could, the first several seasons after a death or massive life event are always difficult. So many people want to make this a “good” holiday for you, but first and foremost, you need to understand what is best for yourself during this rough time. Understand how to find a comforting place through all the chaos:

 

Say no a lot. Really. Other people will tell you you should say yes to things, get out more, be social. But if “being social” gives you the hives, why on earth would you do that? Remember that “no” is a complete sentence. You can say “no, thank you” if you must say more.

Choose your gatherings. If you do choose to attend something holiday-ish, choose wisely. Sometimes a big crowd is easier than a small one because you can slip out un-noticed as you need to. While a small gathering might have been most comfortable in your life instead.

Find ways to be alone-together with others. Musical offerings, candlelight meditations or services — check those little local newspapers and see what’s going on in your community.

Volunteer. If you are feeling stressed by family obligations, choose this as a good opportunity to get some space and serve others who may need some lifting up too.

Have a plan. Before you go to a party or an event, be sure to make your exit plan clear — with yourself. Give yourself an out, whether that is a specific time limit or an emotional cue that lets you know it’s time to go.

Check in with yourself. This is true not just for events and gatherings but for every single moment of life. Take just a minute to take a breath, one good inhale and exhale, and ask yourself how you’re doing. Ask yourself what you need in that moment.

Leave whenever you want. Stop whatever you’re doing whenever you want. Please remember that this is your life. You do not have to do anything that feels bad or wrong or horrifying. Even if you agreed to participate in something, you can change your mind at any time.

 

The holidays are going to hurt, my friend. That is just reality. Whether you are missing someone who should be part of the festivities or someone who shared your love of quiet winter evenings over raucous partying, this season will add some to your grief.

Companion yourself. Care for yourself. Listen. Reach out where it feels good to reach, curl in when that is what you need. Make this season as much of a comfort to you as you can. And when it is not a comfort, know we’re here. All of us who are grieving over someone we lost: We get you. We understand.

 

Looking for more great reads?

 

 

Excerpted from It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine.

Megan Devine holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Through her many articles and speaking engagements, she has emerged as a bold new voice in the world of grief therapy. She recently released her first book, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Megan Devine: The Howl at the Center of Grief

Megan Devine is a mental health counselor who has become known as one of the most promising emerging voices in the field of grief therapy. With Sounds True, she has released the new book It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami speaks with Megan about It’s OK That You’re Not OK and the tragedy that inspired the book—the accidental drowning of her partner. With this in mind, Tami and Megan discuss “the wild howl at the center of grief,” the challenge of shouldering things that only we can carry, and why “letting go” is a myth. They also talk about what you can do for someone enduring the grieving process and why it can be best simply to lend an understanding ear. Finally, Megan unravels the concept of “fixing” grief and why there is an intrinsic connection between grieving fully and loving well. (69 minutes)

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Standing Together, and Stepping Up

Dear Sounds True friends and community,

While holding a mirror to our own organizational accountability, Sounds True unequivocally stands in solidarity with the Black community, the family of George Floyd, and the many others who have been victims of police brutality and ongoing racial injustice.

We stand with and for our Black employees, our Black authors and colleagues, our Black customers, and all of the protestors and social change activists—past, present, and future— who are working to put an end to racism in every corner of our society.

And we are committed to not just stand in solidarity but to step up.

Since George Floyd’s murder, we have been having many in-depth discussions among the 125-person staff at Sounds True about the most meaningful actions we can take as a transformational learning company to help educate ourselves and our community and contribute to the dismantling of racism.

We have been asking ourselves questions such as:

  • How can we best use our platform to better amplify the voices of wisdom teachers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)?
  • What’s in our Shadow, as individuals and as an organization? What unconscious areas must now be brought into awareness?
  • And how do we actively address these areas so that we can evolve as an organization and be a force of genuine service in the world?

The answers to these questions are not simple, quick, or easy. It has taken me a while to write this email to you, our beloved customers and Sounds True community, because we have felt as a team the need to listen carefully and look deeply within in order to lay out an action plan moving forward that will contribute to meaningful and substantive change.

Anything less falls short of what I believe this moment is asking of us.

We also want to learn and evolve in partnership with you. We are learning and growing together as a community, and it has been important for us to create a moving-forward action plan that invites engagement from our entire audience.

With arms wide open, I invite you to witness, support, and step up with us in the following ways:

  • Over the next two years, Sounds True will be undergoing an in-depth Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training in the workplace. This training initiative has been in development for over a year, and will be provided by TMI Consulting, led by Dr. Tiffany Jana. Dr. Jana is coauthor of the books Overcoming BiasErasing Institutional Bias, and Subtle Acts of Exclusion. As part of the training, we will be uncovering how unconscious bias, microaggressions, and micro-acts of exclusion show up in the workplace, in our personal lives, and even in our products. The training also includes a thorough audit of Sounds True’s hiring practices, HR policies, marketing materials, and more.
  • Sounds True also wants to include our customers, authors, and partner businesses in the introductory phase of this training process that we will be embarking upon. With that in mind, we are hosting a three-part webinar series on “Healing Racism” with Dr. Jana, beginning on Wednesday, June 24, at 8:00 pm ET | 5:00 pm PT. The series is free, and we are inviting our customers, authors, and business associates to join the Sounds True staff for this online training and to walk this part of our journey together. As someone on our email list, you will be receiving all of the details in future emails.
  • It is clear to us at Sounds True that we need to publish and otherwise amplify the voices of more authors and presenters who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. If you have ideas about new BIPOC authors you would like to see published at Sounds True or included in our summits and online offerings, please write to us at acquisitions@soundstrue.com.
  • The Sounds True Foundation, formed in 2018, is increasing its efforts to raise scholarship funds for BIPOC students to attend our Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program and become trained as mindfulness teachers who will bring this practice to diverse communities all over the world. We will be hosting a virtual fundraiser on June 30 for this initiative and will be emailing you with more details.

As I mentioned, working to dismantle and heal racism—in ourselves, in our organization, and in our world—is not a flash-in-the-pan effort at Sounds True. This is a long-haul commitment to the creation of a different world that is just, kind, and equitable. And we have a heckuva road to travel with you to get there.

And we are committed. We don’t want to simply talk about spiritual awakening. We want to embody it … as individuals, as a company, and as a force in the world. Humbly and boldly, we are going to give everything we have and invite you to do the same. This is the time for us to step up, together.

With love on the journey,

Tami Simon

Founder and Publisher, Sounds True

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