How To Be There For A Grieving Friend
Published on September 13, 2022
Comforting a grieving friend is not an easy thing to do. This is because the grieving process isn't linear, and depending on the person's personality and the kind of loss they've suffered, they may experience grief in unpredictable ways. So often, it might seem like nothing you say or do makes things any better or easier for them.
Even so, grieving friends need a lot of support and compassion from their loved ones. If you find yourself speechless and unsure about how to support a friend who has suffered a loss, here are some ideas to help you:
Make Time For Them
Anyone who has ever gone through a significant loss probably understands how lonely and personal the grieving process can be.
Without the company and support of loved ones, grieving can feel like going through a dark and lonely tunnel, and it's not uncommon for bereaved individuals to sink into depression.
Conversely, spending time with a grieving friend provides them with a safe space and comfort as they process the complex emotions they are experiencing.
Don't Say Anything If You Don't Have To
Granted, watching a loved one go through the throes of grief can be an overwhelming experience in itself, and you might be tempted to say things to try to make them feel better.
However, this may not always be appropriate. Sometimes any attempt to say things to make the bereaved feel better might come across as condescending.
So, stay silent and follow their lead rather than obsess about what to say to your friend or offer unsolicited advice. This means allowing them to initiate conversations and being observant of their cues. Remember, the best gifts you can give a grieving friend are your presence and a sympathetic ear.
Be Present Virtually
Granted, it's not always possible to be physically present for a grieving friend. However, there are other ways you can show up and still make your presence felt.
For instance, you can call them or send a message to let them know you are thinking of them.
Make a Donation
Contributing to a cause your friend's loved one held dear to their heart can be very comforting. It shows that you value them and wish to see that their legacy lives on.
Help Out With Errands
The grieving process can take a severe toll on the mental and physical state of the suffering individual. This can make it difficult for them to do everyday tasks, including simple ones like getting out of bed and grooming themselves.
To ease the burden on your loved one, volunteer to help them with practical things like babysitting their kids, doing laundry, shopping for their groceries, or preparing their meals.
Take Them Out
It's not uncommon for people experiencing grief to shut themselves out from the world and spend all their time indoors. While this is normal, it can cause one to become disconnected from life and sink them further into depression.
As a caring friend, therefore, you should endeavor to shift your grieving friend's energy and help them rediscover the joys of living. Some things you can do to support them in this regard include taking them on a walk, treating them to a meal at their favorite restaurant, or planning a picnic.
Published on September 13, 2022