Losing a family member is never easy, and watching the woman you love experience the loss of her grandmother can leave you feeling helpless during this difficult time. As her boyfriend, you have a unique ability to provide her with special comfort and support. With you, she is likely to feel safe in expressing her true emotions and won't have to worry about increasing your sadness as she might when sharing her thoughts with her own family. Besides being there to lend a listening ear, use a variety of techniques to cheer her up as she begins to heal from this personal loss.
Present your girlfriend with a short note or card telling her how sorry you are for her loss and that you will always be there to support her. Because the purpose of this letter is to cheer her up, keep the sentiment positive and lighthearted, rather than focus on the sadness of the occasion. Use your own judgement on how humorous the tone of your sentiment should be, as each woman handles her grief in a different manner.
Invite your girlfriend over for a special dinner to take her mind off of her grandmother's passing for one evening. You aren't ignoring the situation by doing this, you are simply giving her a few minutes to be happy in the midst of sadness. Bring in her favorite food from the restaurant where you shared your first date or make a pizza together. Regardless of the type of food, she will appreciate the pleasant distraction.
Send your girlfriend a small gift to show her you support and love her. Choose a cheerful and brightly-colored bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates she can eat when she is feeling especially upset. A small stuffed animal may make her smile and give her the feeling you are there to comfort her even if you can't be physically present.
Create a relaxing spa night at home. During this emotional time, she likely needs a bit of alone time to rejuvenate and many women find pleasure in pampering themselves. Turn down the lights and play relaxing music to mimic a spa experience. Purchase a home manicure or pedicure set and place it by a bathtub filled with warm water so she can do her nails. After she is finished, offer to give her a back, shoulder or foot massage. According to the Mayo Clinic, a massage can help give comfort and reduce anxiety.
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- Psychology Today: Good Grief: Coping After Loss
- Pscyhology Today: Guest Post: 7 Ways to Cheer Up A Girlfriend
- Psychology Today: 4 Actions to Take Today to Feel More Relaxed Tomorrow
- Psychology Today: Grief
- Mayo Clinic: Massage: Get in Touch With Its Many Benefits
- LifeCare: A LifeCare Guide to Helping Others Cope With Grief
- Pay attention to your girlfriend's reaction to your attempts to cheer her up. Each person deals with death in her own way, so avoid forcing her to have fun before she is ready to do so. Some people do best just knowing someone else is there to listen. If she seems extremely upset over the death for a long period of time, she may need professional counseling to help her work through her grief.
Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.
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