Texoma Living Well Magazine May/June 2018 - Page 26

What Do I Say? Communicating with a Grieving person By Kelly Lamkin, LBSW W hen you ask someone, “How are you,” do you really want them to tell you the honest truth or are you waiting for the standard an- swer of “I’m fine”? What if they were honest and told you that they were having a bad day? What if they start- ed to cry? What would you do? I would stop what I am doing, sit them down so we are eye to eye, look them in the eye and give them permission to get it out. Depending on the situa- tion, I may hold their hand but no mat- ter what I make sure I am present with them in that moment. In order to be present with a person you give your undivided attention to them, look them in the eyes, pay attention, listen, ac- knowledge what is being said, both verbally and nonverbally, and don’t put up any physical barriers between you and the other person. When a grieving person is asked that question, most times they want to bust out and talk but don’t because of the thought: “No one has time to listen to me or they don’t care; they don’t want to listen to my problems.” It only takes a few minutes of your time to listen to a hurting, grieving heart. Wouldn’t you want someone to listen to you if the roles were reversed? Those moments spent with a grieving person can po- tentially be the most