Checking In on the Strong One: Recognising and Supporting Those Who Bear the Weight

Checking In on the Strong One: Recognising and Supporting Those Who Bear the Weight

In times of grief, there is often someone who stands out for their strength and resilience amidst a whirlwind of emotions. They seem to carry the world’s weight on their shoulders, taking charge, managing affairs, and ensuring everyone else is okay. They become the pillar of support, the rock on which others lean. But while they may appear strong, it’s essential to recognise that even the strongest among us need support and care.

Identifying the Strong One:

The strong one may not always be obvious, as they tend to conceal their struggles behind a facade of composure. However, there are signs to look out for:

  1. They Take Charge: They are the ones organising logistics, making arrangements, and ensuring everything runs smoothly during challenging times.
  2. They Don’t Express Vulnerability: While they offer a listening ear to others, they rarely share their own feelings or vulnerabilities, preferring to keep their emotions private.
  3. They Prioritise Others: Even in their own grief, they prioritise the well-being of others, often putting their needs on the backburner.
  4. They Appear Unphased: Despite facing immense emotional turmoil, they maintain a calm and collected exterior, rarely breaking down in front of others.

Supporting the Strong One:

Recognising the strength of these individuals is crucial, but it’s equally important to offer them the support and care they need. Here are ways to do so:

  1. Reach Out: Don’t wait for them to ask for help. Reach out proactively, offering a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. Let them know you’re there for them, no matter what.
  2. Acknowledge Their Feelings: Validate their emotions and let them know it’s okay to not be okay. Encourage them to express their feelings without judgement or fear of appearing weak.
  3. Offer Practical Support: Take some of the burdens off their shoulders by offering practical assistance. Whether it’s running errands, preparing meals, or helping with household chores, every little bit helps.
  4. Encourage Self-Care: Remind them to take care of themselves regardless of the chaos. Encourage them to prioritise self-care activities such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or simply taking a break when needed.
  5. Provide a Safe Space: Create a safe and non-judgemental space where they can open up about their own struggles and fears without feeling the need to put on a brave face.
  6. Check In Regularly: Don’t assume they’re always okay just because they appear strong. Check in on them regularly, asking how they’re truly feeling and offering support whenever needed.
  7. Respect Their Boundaries: While it’s essential to offer support, respect their boundaries and don’t pressure them to open up if they’re not ready. Allow them to navigate their grief in their own way and at their own pace.
  8. Recommend Professional Help: If you’re concerned about their well-being or notice signs of prolonged distress, encourage them to seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor.

Remember, even the strongest among us need support and compassion during difficult times. By recognising the strong one and offering them the care they deserve, we can create a culture of empathy and support that benefits everyone involved. So, let’s check in on the strong ones in our lives and show them that they’re not alone in their journey through grief and loss.