Losing a loved one affects people in different ways. Helping a friend through grief can therefore be challenging, especially when it comes to knowing how best to comfort them or even what to say. Everyone deals with grief differently, but your support can help them feel loved and cherished. Below are a few suggestions of some of the ways that you can help your friends through the grieving process.
Reach out to them
Don’t shy away from talking to your friend about their experience. Talking may help more than you think. Your friend may prefer to talk over a phone call than to meet in person. Offering to help them with everyday tasks could be a start, such as offering to take their children to school or helping with housework and gardening etc. Neighbourly gestures like inviting them for a coffee or even just letting them know you’re always there for support is a positive message to send across.
Listen to their feelings
You should listen to how the grieving person feels and help them to express what’s on their mind. Their mood may vary from anger to sadness, but you should always let them talk about the person who died. It is important to be respectful about what they say about their loved late friend or family member. Be sure to keep anything they share with you confidential.
Connect them with people going through similar situations
Offering to connect your grieving friend to other people who are in similar situations may help them to console and share their expressions. There will likely be a bereavement or support group local to where you are. Many people find these groups helpful to speak with others going through a similar experience. There is also a network called The Death Cafe. People get together, enjoy a cup of tea and cake, and talk about death. Linking with members of these groups can be really helpful.
Know when to help them receive support they need
There’s no quick fix to coping with grief and loss, however there are ways to get through the time of bereavement. If your friend or family member feels they are unable to cope with daily life, then it may be time to receive extra support. As some people take longer to recover from a major loss, it is worth seeking help from a therapist or GP.