5 Ways to Help Someone Grieving
It can be hard to know what to say or how to act around someone who is grieving, especially if you haven’t experienced a similar situation. However, this is when our grieving friends really need someone there for them. We’ve compiled a few ideas for how to help someone who is experiencing grief.
- Offer specific help: Many times, we want to help, but simply offering “let me know if I can do anything for you” puts pressure on the people grieving. They often don’t know what they want, how you can help, or may feel uncomfortable asking. Offering to make them dinner, running errands, or doing household chores is more useful.
- Avoid clichés: Although we all mean well when we say them, repeating clichés to our friends will minimize their feelings. Things like “I know how you feel” or “everything happens for a reason” should be avoided. Instead, say things that can acknowledge your friend’s feelings and emotions or make them feel comforted. Say “It’s okay to cry” or “I’m here to listen” to validate their feelings and let them know that you care.
- Continue checking in: After the initial shock of a death wears off, many friends will go back to their daily lives, leaving the bereaved to cope with their grief alone. Don’t forget about your grieving friends after the first month. They are still hurting. Knowing that you are still there for them and available to help is comforting.
- Ask if they’d like to talk: Don’t avoid talking about the person they lost. If you avoid speaking about them, your friend may feel alone. Instead, ask if they’d like to talk and reflect on memories. Some people will prefer not to talk about it, but you can’t know this unless you ask. Be willing to help understand their feelings.
- Be present: Don’t underestimate the power of simply being with your friend. Knowing that someone is near them and with them will help the healing process.
We know that the grieving process can be difficult and confusing. If you, a friend, or family member is grieving, we offer counseling services and therapy. Grieving shouldn’t be something you go through alone. You are welcome to see one of our counselors individually or as a family. You can also join a support group and talk to others who are going through similar experiences. Just knowing that there are people willing to help can be an immense comfort. Learn more about our Grief & Loss Services here.