How to Help a Friend through the Grieving Process

By: Myles O'Riordan
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Grief is a complicated process that everyone handles differently. As a friend of someone going through the grieving process, it can be difficult to know what to say or do to help. You might feel you are intruding at a very personal time, or be afraid that you will say or do the wrong thing. You may feel powerless to help your friend through a difficult time.

If you know someone who has suffered a loss, we have compiled this short list of guidelines to help you do the right thing.

Listen

You may think that you know how they feel. Even if you do, don’t say that. Listen to what they have to say, don’t put words in their mouth. Instead, ask them how they’re feeling. Accept and acknowledge what they’re feeling, rather than telling them how they should feel.

And if they don’t want to talk, then be prepared to sit in silence. Don’t force the issue, and instead, offer support through your presence or a friendly hug.

Offer Practical Assistance

Grieving people can find it difficult to ask for help. Rather than waiting for them to ask, make the first move. “I’m going to the store, do you want anything?” or “I have some leftover turkey. Do you prefer it sliced or in a sandwich?” is a lot easier to answer than a vague “let me know if you need anything.” Concrete offers are more likely to get a response than ambiguous or vague promises.

In some cases, you may need to take the initiative, such as helping with funeral arrangements or even screening calls from family and friends if they’re not feeling up to talking. If they have children, take them to or pick them up from school. There may be certain days where they need more support, for example, birthdays or anniversaries. On those days, make more of an effort to be there for them.

Find Support for Yourself

Grieving can be a rough period, and mourners can be difficult to deal with. They go through conflicting emotions and may say or do things they don’t really mean. You may need some support of your own to get through it, but make sure it doesn’t come at the mourner’s expense.

Above all else, be there for them. Be prepared to see and hear things you would never have expected. Be there and be present, and everything else will (hopefully) fall into place.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

5 Ideas For Creating New Holiday Traditions After A Death

The holidays are a time for festivities and celebrations. You spend time with family and friends and have relaxed meals. However, if you have lost a loved one, you may not feel like participating i...

How Does A Funeral Help In The Grieving Process?

Funerals have existed for thousands of years, and many burial sites across the world show that this practice is an essential aspect of how people deal with death. While most do not realize it, fune...

Supporting Someone With An Addiction

If a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can be tough for you to handle the situation. Not only do you need to be compassionate and patient, but you have to be able to stand your ground as w...

What is the Philosophy of Hospice Care?

Sometimes, people with terminal illnesses suffer for a very long time. This journey can become very painful and tedious for the patient as well as family members. However, in these situations, one ...

Remembering And Honoring A Loved One Through Holiday Meals

Holidays provide the perfect opportunity for family members and loved ones to get together. It's not uncommon for people to travel a great distance to be with their family during Christmas or other...

Life Choices To Put On Hold If You're Grieving

When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you mustn't make any critical life choices. It isn't easy to deal with death as it takes an emotional and physical toll on you. It means you aren't in...

Modern Ways To Memorialize A Loved One

If a loved one passes, it can become quite challenging to deal with the grief and the sense of loss that envelops you.  There are many different ways in which you can keep your loved one's mem...

Top Reasons to Pre-Plan Before You Need It

The concept of pre-planning a funeral is gaining some traction among people that do not want to burden their families with their funeral arrangements and costs. A funeral can be expensive and chall...

What Is Funeral Crowdfunding?

When a family member passes away, in addition to coming to terms with your loss, you also have to organize the funeral service in the best way you can. Most people that are handling this for the fi...

We Personalize So Much In Our Lives, Why Should Our Funeral Be Any Different

Most of us like to make sure that the things we do are as per our preferences. We want to personalize almost everything ranging from the decor in our house, to how we set the dining table. Tips to...