Helping Those Who Have Lost
By Emmett Pennington-Guthrie
Losing a loved one is a difficult thing, but it is something that can be made easier through connections with others.
David and Samantha Bradley, funeral directors at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, a local funeral home, work frequently with people grieving recent losses.
David Bradley stated that one of the things he finds most important for helping people work with grief is to “tell families to talk about their loved ones. Talk about them often and share stories about them often. Try not to hide it.” 
Death is a powerful source of grief but reminiscing about the recently deceased and remembering the best parts of them can help relieve some of the worst of the grief.
Of course, different people react differently to death and the circumstances in which someone loses another play a major role in their grief.
Samantha Bradley explained that the type of loss impacts the grieving process, but that grief depends largely on the person experiencing it. To that end, she said that some individuals may show strong emotions from the beginning of their grieving process. Others may restrain their emotions until a certain point, which is when they may suddenly feel the grief hitting them strongly. 
Because of the different ways in which people process grief, Samantha Bradley said that it is important to treat people how they want to be treated, and that “sometimes they want to talk about it, and they want somebody to ask, and sometimes they just don’t.” 
If possible, talking with people experiencing grief is a good way to help them process, but because of the ways in which people react to a loss, it is not the only solution. Opening up about a recent loss can be important for some people. For others it may not be, or it may be something they only feel comfortable doing after enough time has passed.
Keep in mind that there is no defined amount of time that people experience grief. According to Samantha Bradley, “For some people, when [the funeral] services are over, they have their final feelings and they’re OK, and some people hold onto it for years and years.” 
Additionally, certain dates and times of the year can be difficult for the bereaved. Anniversaries, holidays, and birthdays can be troubling, lonely times. For those of us who know people who have lost loved ones, these are important times to reach out and make it known that you are there if they need it.
- Interview with David, Samantha, and Dawson Bradley, 12/1/2021.