How to Help a Friend Cope with the Loss of a Parent
When we hear from a friend that their mom or dad has died, our first reaction may be shock or even sadness. These emotions are okay and normal. However, even as we navigate our own personal feelings, it’s important to remember that our friend needs our love and support now more than ever.
Losing a parent is one of the hardest things each of us will experience. As your friend goes through this loss, know that there are ways you can help them cope with it.
Here are a few of our favorite ideas for how you can show up for a grieving friend:
7 Ways to Help a Friend Who Just Lost Their Mom or Dad
1. Share your condolences.
As soon as you hear the news that your friend’s parent has passed away, share your condolences with them. Let your friend know how sorry you are and that you’re available if they need anything.
2. Attend funeral and memorial services.
Visitations, funerals, celebrations of life, and other memorial services can be incredibly hard for the person who is grieving. Show your support by attending these events and being a shoulder for your friend to cry on, should they need it.
3. Offer them a meaningful sympathy gift.
Consider giving your friend a sympathy gift that provides ongoing comfort. Fingerprint Jewelry and Keepsakes are a beautiful option that will give your friend a lasting, tangible connection to their mom or dad. They’ll be reminded of the love that continues to live on through them each time they feel their parent’s fingerprint on the piece.
4. Give them space when they need it.
Healing from grief takes time. Give your friend the space that they crave while they process their emotions. You can still show up and reach out, but don’t pressure them to return to their normal schedule or activities until they’re ready.
5. Listen if they want to talk.
Some people start to feel better after loss by talking about their late Loved One. If your friend wants to open up and share, be there for them by practicing active listening. You can also share your own happy memories of their parent when the time is right.
6. Be understanding of their grief.
Certain events or times of the year—like Mother’s Day or the holidays—can be especially hard for your friend after their parent dies. Be mindful of their grief during these seasons and offer a little extra kindness to them. For example, if they always went to their dad’s house for Easter brunch before he died, invite them to your celebration this year instead.
7. Continue to show up as their friend.
Continuing to be a good friend is the best way to help the people you care about as they cope with loss. Bring them a homecooked meal. Text them a funny video. Share grief support resources that have helped you through a similar situation. Above all else, be the friend you would want to have if you were in their shoes.
Thank you for being there for your friend during their grief journey. As you support them, remember how appreciated your kindness is. Just a little light can go a long way to brighten up someone’s darkest days.