What’s the best way to help a grieving friend?

by Jason on January 6, 2013

I’ve provided some suggestions here in list form to make your options seem less confusing. I know how confusing it can feel to approach someone in grief. You don’t want to say the wrong thing, or worse yet, trigger them into an uncontrollable crying fit. However, there are universal truths to helping a friend in bereavement and here they are.

1. Be a good listener. Let them talk openly about their fears, sorrow and emotional chaos.

2. Send a heartfelt note. When you write your words down, you can organize your thoughts better and execute the exact sympathy you want to express.

3. Organize a card signing from others (friends) to express sympathy for the recent loss.

4. Prepare a comforting meal or bring over food. Comfort foods can ease the pain.

5. Attend the funeral or memorial service guidelines and be an emotional support to your friend.

6. If applicable, do some fundraising for a cause that relates to your friends father’s passing.

7. Help out with everyday tasks – dog walking, chores or errands.

8. Share your own experiences. If you feel that you have experiences that will empathize with your friend, talk about it and share comforting words.

9. Ask them if they want space to grieve. There are moments in grief where a person wants to have time to themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask if your friend wants some space. Let her know that you’re only a phone call away. Make yourself available but try not to smother.

10. Get her moving. If she’s up for it, plan some activities. If she likes to workout, you can exercise together, go out to lunch etc.

I’m so sorry for your friends loss and I know eventually, in time, she will recover. However, like everyone else in grief, she will need to navigate the stages of grief until she has processed that loss and reaches acceptance. My prayers are with you.



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