How to Help a Grieving Friend or Family Member
Posted on 20 May 2016
You can always count on a true friend to be there for you when you need them. But what happens when a friend needs you to be there for them during a difficult time? You might feel scared, awkward and unsure of what to do when a friend has lost someone who is close to them, especially if you’ve never personally dealt with death before. Saying the wrong thing can cause your friend pain, so here’s a few tips and guidelines to remember when helping your friend navigate their grief.
You aren’t there to fix it.
Don’t think that your friend is reaching out to you to fix their problem. They know that you can’t turn back time or bring back their loved one. This means that you also shouldn’t say anything that suggests that you can. Your friend isn’t looking for a miracle. They’re just looking for some support.
Anticipate their needs.
It’s easy to tell your friend to let you know if they need anything. Instead, figure out what they need and do it for them. Make phone calls for them. Mow the lawn for them. Take their kids out to a movie while they make necessary phone calls and arrangements. They might not want to burden you by asking for favors. Take as many things off their plate as possible.
Let them grieve their way.
Grief is different for everyone. If your friend seems to be grieving in a way that is different and uncommon, that’s okay. As long as they aren’t hurting themselves or anyone else, allow them to grieve in their own way. Remember that your personal way of dealing with grief is not necessarily the way that everyone should handle their grief. Be supportive, no matter what.
Be their witness.
Helping someone grieve can be uncomfortable at times. The emotion is raw, the pain is real and the situation is often unpleasant. But a true friend will remain throughout the entire grieving process, no matter how difficult it becomes. It’s easy to be a friend during the good times. Be the friend that sticks around during the not so good times, too.
Give them love.
Above all, let your friend know that you love them and care about them. Let them know that you will be here for them the entire step of the way. Sometimes this reassuring act can make all the difference during the grieving process, where support is needed but not always truly there.
If you’re looking for a unique way to help your friend through the grieving process, consider giving them a gift from Johnston’s Cremation Jewelry. They’ll be able to keep a small piece of their loved one with them, whether it’s their ashes, a lock of hair or pieces of dried flowers from the funeral. This unique gesture will surely help them grieve and focus on the happy memories that they have of their loved one.