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Helping Others Help You – Ten Rules for Self-Healing

  1. Tell friends to call you often. Explain that after the first couple of months you‟ll need
    their calls.
  2. Tell your friends to make a specific date with you; none of this “we must get together
    for lunch”. Remind them that you’re bound to have “down” times and their patience
    would be appreciated.
  3. Tell them to please feel free to talk about the person that has died — and don’t avoid
    that person’s name.
  4. It’s important for friends to understand that you may appear to be “doing so well” but
    on the inside you still hurt. Grief is painful, it’s tricky and it’s exhausting.
  5. Ask your friends to care but not to pity you.
  6. Make plain that friends and relatives can still treat you as a person who is still in
    command and can think for yourself.
  7. Tell your friends that it’s all right to express their caring. It’s OK for them to cry;
    crying together is better than avoiding the pain.
  8. Let your friends know too, that it’s all right to say nothing. A squeeze or a hug are
    often more important than words.
  9. Let people know that they can invite you to socialize, but that you might decline.
  10. Ask your friends to go for walks with you. You and your friends can “walk off”
    feelings. Walks promote conversation and help fight depression.

Ruth Jean Loewinsohn

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