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The rare power of an honest conversation about grief

Two women sit side-by-side on a brown sofa, with heads bowed. Women on left has her hands clasped in her lap, women on right has her left hand covering her face.
Ben White

Though each person's grief at the loss of loved one is unique, we can be supportive of ourselves and of each other in processing it.

Rebecca Soffer thinks American culture doesn't do a very good job when it comes to handling grief.

"We have been raised to not have a normal conversation about grief," says the author of "The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Move Through Grief and Building Your Resilience." She notes that we tend to fall back on platitudes or saying nothing at all.

What is important is that people who have suffered the tremendous loss of someone close need to have their grief recognized.

For that, Soffer encourages you to reach out even if it's simply to acknowledge that you don't know what to say. "It's okay to admit that you don't have the magic answer or the fix, but it is as important to say 'but I'm here for you.'"

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