Steve Jobs, founder of Macintosh Computers, died yesterday at the age of 56. Many loyal Apple Computer diehard fans feel a strong connection to Steve Jobs and are mourning his loss. Some have called him the Einstein of this century! While most knew he had been battling pancreatic cancer, many of us are shocked at what appeared to be his sudden passing yesterday. When a loved one dies, it is important to be aware of our grieving response.

So many our asking for help or tips on how to go through this grieving process!

The stages of grief/bereavement/mourning:

Typically the stages of grief progress as follows: Shock,  denial, anger, sadness, and eventually, acceptance.

Typically the stages of grief progress as follows: Shock,  denial, anger, sadness, and eventually, acceptance.

There are at least two kinds of grieving or mourning following the death of a loved one; normal Grief or Complicated Mourning. Complicated Mourning tends to occur when the death is sudden, unexpected or traumatic. Complicated mourning may occur when the person who is mourning perceives the death as preventable.

"Steve Jobs Died, Passed Away"Factors that influence mourning:

According to Dr. Nikki J. Pritchett, factors which may influence mourning are

1. Who the person was i.e. parent, child, close friend

2. The relationship you have with that person, i.e. best friend or acquaintance

3. Type of death, i.e. expected or unexpected

4. Past Experiences With Grief, how did you cope with loss in the past?

5. Personality

6. Social-Cultural Factors, i.e. support system and family’s or culture’s response to the death

What can you do to help someone who is grieving? There is actually plenty you can do. According to The Allen Group of Longwood, FL, you can choose from the following:

1. Get in touch via telephone

2. Say little on your first visit

3. Avoid cliches (A simple “I’m sorry” is best.)

4. Be yourself

5. Keep in touch

6. Help with practical things, i.e. clean house, prepare meals, etc.

7. Encourage others to visit or help

8. Accept silence, don’t force conversation

9. Be a good listener

10. Do not tell the mouner how he feels

11. Do not ask for details about the death, simply listen if information is offered

12. Comfort children but do not shield them from the others who are grieving

13. Talking trivia; avoid this in the mourner’s presence.

14. Grief is worked through; do not hide photos, etc.

15. Write a letter as opposed to a store bought card

16. Encourage the postponement of major decisions until after the time of intense grief

17. In time, gently draw the mourner out into quiet, outside activity

18. When the mourner returns to social activity, treat him or her as a normal person

19. If you are aware your loved one is having trouble with their grief, you can suggest they consult with a clergyman or licensed counselor.

20. Lastly, talk to the person in mourning about how you might help them out. If you know the person very well, then chances are you will be able to anticipate some of their needs, which will help you know how to help that person.

Please note: Resources for this article were compiled from a workshop on “Complicated Mourning” presented by Nikki J. Pritchett, Ph.D., resource “For everything there is a season….Life After Grief; Helping others understand and overcome a loss,” by the Allen Group of Longwood, Florida, and from the author’s personal knowledge base and experience.