I don’t usually blog about my radio show but last night’s interview really made me think about what I’m frequently asked by non-grievers. “What do I say or do to help, when a friend or family member has lost a loved one”? Just as with grief, we are not schooled in what to say and what not to say when someone is in pain after the loss of a loved one. What Dr. Virigina Seno shared last evening and, will share on my next two radio shows is, what I think might just be the best question that could be asked and can be broadly applied to support someone experiencing any loss.
When we are moving through life after a loss, we move in a fog, barely putting one foot in front of the other. When asked what we need, we truly have no idea. The question is too big! Asking how a person feels, too big! But, ask how a person is feeling this morning narrows it down and helps to bring the person into the present moment. It can be moment to moment after we lose a loved one.
The question Dr. Seno presents is so simple but, as she shared last evening, is so powerful. Consider this question, “What is most important to you RIGHT NOW?”
I think it is brilliant! Now, the challenge is not in asking the question. The challenge is, after asking, to allow the silence. This silent space gives a person the opportunity to pause, think about right now, and possibly provide an answer, and usually not one that you would have expected. We can never guess what would be most important to someone else, no matter how well we believe we know them.
Try it for yourself and ask the question. Practice it and see what comes up for you. Remember, the question is about “right now” and the silence is the key.
“What is most important to you, RIGHT NOW!”