Tis the Season to Empathize with Your Clients

Navigating the holidays after the death of a loved one is never easy. Not only do the emotions impact your clients, but they also can impact you. Here's to mindfulness all around.
By: Trustate
WASHINGTON - Dec. 20, 2021 - PRLog -- The holidays can be a triggering time for many people.

Many of those in our networks are coping with the pain of enduring the holiday season without their loved ones around.

These situations can be equal-parts scary and anguishing, which makes empathy around the holidays more important than ever.

It's nearly impossible to miss the holiday cheer onslaught via social media, television advertisements, and storefront displays, which start earlier and earlier each year. So, it's important to remember small things such as a holiday ornament, a menorah, a Christmas song, or a casual holiday greeting can bring about some painful memories for those who are grieving.

Here are some simple ways you can support a client who may be struggling with grief this holiday season:

Lead With Compassion

Compassion is the ability to sympathize with someone else's pain while considering things from their perspective. Keep their perspective and mind, and add an extra dose of kindness in each interaction with your clients.

Be Self-Aware During Meetings

Don't forget that in addition to being a client, you are talking to a human being who has experienced a personal loss and is likely experiencing some difficult emotions. This simply means that when speaking of a loved one who has passed, be mindful, be kind, and be self-aware about how you are speaking to them and sensitive when approaching topics that your client could perceive to be painful.

Be Curious and Listen

Oftentimes, when processing the loss of a loved one, it helps to talk about the person you're missing without offering unsolicited advice or commentary. Clients may want to share a favorite story from past holiday seasons, and simply want someone to ask them questions and then listen.

Be Cognizant of the Stages of Grief

Grief can manifest itself in a number of ways, from anger to depression. If your once pleasant client suddenly becomes combative, distant, or difficult to work with, don't take it personally. Continue to lead with compassion, and keep in mind, everyone processes trauma differently. And everyone processes grief and the loss of a loved one in their own way.

Avoid Comparing Their Grief to Someone Else's Grief

As humans, we want to relate to others, find a connection, or feel like we're being helpful. But, among the things to avoid when working with a grieving client is to compare their grief with something you've experienced or another client's experience. Every single person's experience with grief is unique and by comparing their grief with someone else's they may feel diminished or robbed of their dignity.

Create a Helpful List of Resources

Depending on how long you've worked with the client, it may be helpful to provide them with resources for support, especially during the holiday season. This could mean having a list of local or online support groups you could share with them, if asked, or if it feels appropriate. Don't be hurt if your client rejects the offer, and isn't ready for a support group. Just remember; everyone processes grief in their own way.

Remember to Take Care to Yourself

Working with clients who are experiencing loss and are in the throes of grief can lead to vicarious trauma. It's important to remember that listening to clients talk about their grief and loss can also affect you. You may be resilient, but you also have a finite amount of emotional energy. Remember to do things to help replenish that store, like practicing self-care and taking time to process and breathe.

At Trustate, we want you to know we're here for you as allies and as partners to recognize and identify the struggles both you and your clients may be facing at this time of year.

Trustate Trust & Estate Administration Software

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