When a friend has suffered a loss, it’s natural to want to reach out. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to know how to support your friend. You may feel helpless and not know where to begin, but there are some very simple ways you can help.
- Sometimes, just being there is enough. Listening while your friend talks is important, especially when it’s about feelings of loss and memories of the person who has died. Don’t try to have all the answers, and don’t say “It was for the best” or “Everything happens for a reason.” When someone is grieving, it’s not the time for platitudes but rather for compassionate and active listening.
- Offer specific, practical help. When you say things such as “Let me know how I can help,” it may feel overwhelming to the person who is grieving. It’s better to think of specific things you can do. You may want to bring a meal, offer childcare or clean out a closet. On the other hand, you may want to offer a respite from grief in the form of an outing, perhaps for coffee or lunch. Try to find things that are actually needed, and offer them clearly.
- You might want to offer deferred help. Often, there’s a rush of help right after the loss, so it may be useful to wait and find ways to help later. Sometimes, just staying in touch with your friend after the initial rush of well-wishers has passed is comforting.
- The healing process can be easier when there’s a good support system. You may want to enlist the help of others on behalf of your friend. Organizing meals, helping with housework, running errands or doing other chores can be a boon to someone overwhelmed with grief. It also gives others the opportunity to step up when they may not have been sure how to do that.
- Pay attention to your friend so that you can encourage professional help if it comes to that. Sometimes, people get lost in grief. They may not feel life is worth living and may be unable to engage in everyday activities. When this happens, it’s time to call in a professional counselor who is trained to deal with complicated grief.
At Evergreen Mortuary, we are committed to supporting people who have lost a loved one by helping them to plan life-honoring tributes. We also provide grief counseling services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through our online resources. Visit our website or call us today at (520) 399-6652 to learn more about all we have to offer.