How to Help a Grieving Friend
When a friend experiences loss, it can be hard to know the right things to say or do. Letting your friend know that you are there for them is important and can help them through the difficult time they are facing.
A few ways that you can help a grieving friend after the loss of a Loved One include:
Give Your Sympathy
Finding the words to express your sympathy is an important first step in helping your friend. A simple “I’m sorry” is a kind gesture that lets your friend know that you are there for them. When giving your sympathy, be careful to keep the focus on your friend and their Loved One. Perhaps share how special it is that the Loved One was cared for so deeply by your friend or recite a favorite memory that will remind your friend of the sweetness of their bond.
Offer Practical Help
When a Loved One passes, the practical arrangements that need to be made can feel overwhelming. If your friend is left with this task, offer to help them make phone calls, book venues, or do whatever else feels appropriate. Whether they accept the help or not, you will show your friend how much you care by offering to take on some of the burden so they can focus on grieving their Loved One.
Be Physically Present
If you are able, be physically present with your friend in the days after their loss. Attend the visitation, service, and any memorial reception that is held so that your friend will have someone to lean on. Even if they are busy with their other family members, you just being there will be a comforting act of compassion for your friend.
Show Continuing Support
Your friend’s grief won’t necessarily end once services are finished. In the weeks following these events, check in with your friend to see how they are doing and offer your continuing support. Be there to talk when they need it, and give them space if they want to be alone when they ask. Also remember to continue to invite your friend along to other events, like dinners and outings, to help give them an opportunity to move forward during the months after their loss, should they want.
As you help a grieving friend, have patience and understanding. Like any grief journey, there will be ups and downs, but the kindest thing you can do is be there for them. They will appreciate it now and for many years to come.