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

Personalizing a Funeral Service

Today, many people are choosing to veer away from traditional forms of conducting funeral services. The focus is now on celebrating the life of the person that has passed, in a unique and memorable...

Dealing With Unresolved Grief

Most people that experience the death of a loved one, find it extremely difficult to deal with the loss. Most of us prefer joy over sadness, life over death and winning over losing. This is exactly...

What’s The Point Of A Funeral?

Funeral services are carried out as a norm when a family member passes away. It is a way for people to say goodbye and acknowledge that the person they have loved has passed on. It also the time wh...

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Cremation Provider

After the death of a loved one, you need to choose a cremation provider, if that was their wish. Before deciding to hand over this responsibility to a particular provider, it’s important to get all...

How to Write a Condolence Letter

People often find it difficult to say a few words of condolence when they meet the bereaved family after a death. It is easier to express your feelings and sympathy by writing a condolence letter. ...

5 Interesting Facts About Cremation

Cremation is becoming more popular than burials for various reasons. Though this is an increasing trend, many people are still ignorant about the benefits of cremation. Here are 5 facts that m...

Choosing a Casket

When a loved one passes away, you want all the funeral service arrangements to be perfect. If you have opted for a burial, this includes choosing a casket. This might seem like a very simple detail...

Coping With Memories Of Loss And Grief At Christmas

When it’s Christmas time, the world around seems to be extra cheerful. But if you have lost a loved one recently, the memories of loss and grief blind you to all the festivities and cause a lot of ...

What is Actually Involved in Pre-planning Your Funeral?

It isn’t that everyone wants to pre-plan their own funeral but there is a growing trend to ensure that you get the kind of funeral you want. While doing so, you are taking off the financial and log...

What if I Want an Unconventional Funeral Service?

Breaking traditions and searching for unusual options now extends from daily life to the death arena. Ideas about how you should be treated after death are taking new forms and technology are enabl...