How to Support a Friend Who Is Grieving

Thursday, August 16, 2018
Everyone experiences the stages of grief in different ways. While some recover from their sorrow over the course of months, others carry the pain of loss with them for years. While it's important to allow a person to proceed at his or her own pace, there are ways to lighten their load. Friends and family can provide support during this difficult period.

Understand Different Grieving Strategies
Nearly everyone experiences some level of grieving in their lifetime. Itís important to realize that not everyone deals with death in the same way. While some people prefer to grieve in insolation, others enjoy the support provided by family and friends. Before offering comfort, try to gauge which method best suits your friend. Itís not your responsibility to find resolution to the event, but rather act as a support person during your friendís time of need.

Deliver on Any Promises Made
The last thing you want to do is disappoint a grieving friend. To prevent further dismay, donít make promises you canít keep. While itís common for people to say things like, ďYou can call me anytime,Ē they donít always mean it. When a grieving person needs assistance, friends or family members may not always have time to spare. If a grieving friend turns to you for comfort, take a brief period of time to provide much-needed support.

Be an Active Listener
The ability to become an active listener during times of grief can be extremely useful. At times, people who are grieving are too focused on caring for others and donít take the time to grieve themselves. For example, a grieving widow might feel obligated to stay strong for her children because they require her support. Offer a break from these responsibilities and allow the grieving person to self-heal. Actively listen to what the person has to say and donít be afraid to ask questions.

Itís not always easy to know what to do or say when a friend experiences grief after a loss. What you donít want to do is nothing at all. Donít be afraid to talk about a person who has passed away, and instead, communicate in a way that displays your loyalty and desire to support and comfort. Loss is a difficult thing to get through on your own and your role as a friend is both vital and unique.

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