How to support a grieving friend

by Lynn

How to support a grieving friend

How can we be there for friends who are grieving? In what way can you show compassion and console them? How can you offer hope? In times of grief, the best thing you can do for a friend is to show up and be there for them again and again. A grieving friend is not just one who has lost a loved one. Grief has many forms, it can come in the form of a divorce, death, illness, miscarriage a job.

Here are some ways you can support a grieving friend:             

Help Out

When grieving one can ignore the basic needs and requirements. Helping out can be a great lifesaver. Stop asking how and when you can help out, just do it. Bring dinner, pick up their kids from school, do their laundry and just be there for them. It’s surprising just how beneficial assisting in small errands could be.

Check in

Make an effort to check up on your friend. Something as simple as a phone call, a card or an invitation to grab lunch or dinner. You might be surprised simply how much your simple check-ins mean to a friend that is grieving.

Understand

As your friend navigates the limitless emotions that grief brings, it is important to have a comprehension of grief. Some people experience sadness, depression, anger or even anxiety. In some instances, one can also experience indigestion and grief.

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Be there for them

It can be tough to sit in silence, and even harder to watch your friend experiencing psychological pain. Resist the urge to fill the silence and make an effort of allowing it in the room. By you being present that is sufficient enough. This is a great way to support a grieving friend. By just showing up, you will be showing your love and support, even although you sit quietly. Silence may be much more therapeutic than you realize. Every person will deal with their particular grief differently, therefore we must be there for them however they want to grieve.

Respect their journey

There are various stages of grief and they all take time. Respect their journey and do not rush them into anything or compare yourself with them. Let them go through their stages as they wish. The best you can do to support a grieving friend is being there for them no matter what. The stages can be erratic and they can take a toll on them.

As your friend navigates the difficult feelings and stages that grief may bring, it is vital to have a general understanding of grief. People who are grieving experience sadness, despair, fury and anxiety commonly. As you take your time to find out about the grief process, ways to support your friend in meaningful techniques will become much more obvious.

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Pay attention more, talk less

When consoling your friend, you should talk less and pay attention more. Listen to what they have to say and do not make it about you. Do not offer any unsolicited advice. Your friend will benefit more by talking about how they’re feeling. Unless you are asked for advice stop offering it. If there’s no conversation, it’s okay to be quiet or ask a couple of questions.

Let them express their feelings

If your friend wants to cry, let them cry. It’s very important to allow your friend to express their sadness as it is a part of the healing process. While they’re expressing their emotions, you can just be there for them and comfort them. Create a space where your friend feels safe to express themselves.

Ask questions

When you’re around your friend, feel free to ask questions. Have they been eating, where have they been sleeping. Depending on the stage of grief your friend is in you can ask them questions about the person they have lost.

Remember important dates

Make a point of remembering anniversaries of their grief experiences. This is especially important because there are always days when grief hits hard. On birthdays, wedding anniversaries and during the holidays. Being there for them on such dates also means a lot to them and can help curb the loneliness.

Recommend an activity

At times your friend will just need a distraction for a couple of hours. You can recommend an activity that will start to slowly pull them back to normalcy. You can go for a drive, to the park or just about anything.

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