I wish we lived in a world without sadness and loss…but we don’t. How can we best care for someone who is responding to grief? So many of us have experienced a personal loss this year, and if not, we all know someone who has lost someone.

Someone you know is grieving now. What can you do to help someone who is responding to grief? Well, most of us tend to respond to others the way we would respond. Like the business lessons I share with audiences and workshop attendees, this isn’t usually the best response. This is another way that we need to learn to look at personalities…and respond accordingly.

Each personality type has its own primary emotional need. Keep that in mind when you are trying to decide how to respond to someone experiencing grief. What does THAT individual need most right now? The following graphic was designed to give you some ideas.

Personality tips on responding to grief

My mother-in-law passed away in October. She had Alzheimer’s and her health had been declining rapidly in previous months. Even though we knew it was coming the loss still hit us hard.

As a Red, I wanted (needed) to spring into action. I was ready to plan the service, make the video, set up the donation fund, and write my eulogy. But I had to wait.

Both my husband and his brother are Greens. And it was their mom who had died. Granted, she had been in my life too for over 25 years, but I needed to slow down and let her Green sons process at THEIR pace. Once they were ready to receive help, I was able to do those things that I wanted to do.

My Yellow side was sad that only immediate family would be present at the service but that didn’t stop us from creating a beautiful live-streamed celebration of her life…and raising over $800 for the Alzheimer’s Association in her name. We also treasured every card and message that we received before and after the service.

Responding to grief isn’t fun. It is especially in these strange pandemic times. When someone you care about loses a loved one I encourage you to slow down and choose the best response for that person’s personality.

For more on this subject, click here to read a post by Marita Littauer. I started to learn this lesson when my father-in-law passed in 2015. Here is that link for you if you want to compare my reactions over the years.