? PODCAST #19:
HOW TO SUPPORT OUR GRIEVING FRIENDS
with psychotherapist & grief counsellor Andrea Warnick
At the beginning of this podcast episode, I highlight that this is one of the most solemn and most important topics that we have covered. THANK YOU to my friend Suzanne for suggesting the topic and for introducing me to our guest expert – psychotherapist and grief counsellor Andrea Warnick.
Yes, I was nervous about this interview. I had tears running down my face when I was doing research in advance of meeting Andrea. But I kept saying to myself, “This is REALLY IMPORTANT… We can help a lot of people help a lot of people with this knowledge.”
Have you ever been lost for words when you tried to console a grieving friend? Have you ever wondered what to write in a condolence card? Andrea Warnick (“the other Andrea W”!) has some empowering and specific advice for us.
As you will discover immediately in this podcast, Andrea is disarmingly easy to talk to, even about this tough topic. Andrea is gracious, knowledgeable and inspiring. Clearly, she has found her calling.
At the end of the podcast, I summarize with 10 key learnings – specific things to consider and to say when you are trying to support a grieving friend. You can hear them on the podcast or read them here in the ShowNotes. Here are three of my favourites:
1. Don’t try to save the person.
- Andrea warns, “don’t fall into the fixit trap.” Rather, show up and be there for your friend. Just sit and talk. Or maybe even just sit.
2. Unless they tell you otherwise, do not hesitate to use the “D” words: dying, death, died.
- There are over 240 euphemisms for death in the English language. Words like “lost” or “passed” are just wrong and sometimes confusing. Using the “D” word will not make your friend feel feel worse. They are already sad.
3. Ask your friend to share a story about the person who died.
- It could be “I never met your grandmother. Tell me about her.” Or if you did meet her, you could say, “tell me again about the time…” Many people who are grieving find some relief in telling a story about the person.
(the two Andrea W’s in Andrea Warnick’s office)
MY FAVOURITE ANDREA WARNICK QUOTES
Andrea has a lot of helpful advice for us. Here are four of my favourite quotes from the interview. I hope you too find them inspiring:
Working on this topic got me thinking about other potential future Talk About Talk topics, particularly advice and scripts for taboo or awkward topics:
- Talking about money with your family
- Talking about a raise with your boss
- Avoiding taboo topics at work
- Talking about sex with your kids
- Avoiding gossip
Are you interested in learning more about these topics? What other topics would you like to learn about from Talk About Talk? Please let me know! I would love ❤️to hear! You can connect with us on social media or send me an email.
As always, I encourage you to forward this email or send this link to your friends and colleagues who may also be interested in learning about how to become a more confident communicator. THANK YOU very much!
Have a great week.
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Founder & Chief Talker – Talk About Talk Inc.
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