Grief is a personal experience. Because we are unique human beings, our grief is unique.
Although we may think we know what the other person is feeling, we do not. Grief is very subjective and we can only understand or empathize, but we cannot really know what they are experiencing internally. What happens when the bereaved is your loved one?
What can you say? What can you do to make them feel better?
When we deal with our own grief, we may know what helps us or what to do to process it. In the case of another person, we may tell them what has helped us and what may help them, but we cannot do it for them. They have to go through their own process and during that time is when your own grief becomes real. It hurts you to see them grieving. You may feel impotent as you are not able to take the pain away from your loved one; it becomes heavy because it adds extra pain to yours; You may become impatient when you lack the understanding of their grief; and, finally, you may humble yourself when you realize you do not have the power to make it disappear.
You can only be present with love, compassion, empathy, patience, and hope.
As you transform your loss, you transform your life.
Ligia M. Houben