Reaching Out on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and a national day to be thankful. For most of us, Thanksgiving means spending time with family, counting our blessings and enjoying the day together. For people who are grieving, though, it can be a very difficult time of year as it’s tough to find reasons to be grateful when you’ve lost someone you love.  

If you know someone who is grieving this Thanksgiving, find ways to be there and show your support.  

  • Reach out to let your friend know you’re thinking of him or her. Sometimes in the rush of our own holiday preparations, we forget to think of others who may not be in a celebratory mood. Take the time to reach out, whether it’s with a phone call or a thoughtful note. 
  • Be patient, understanding that everyone grieves differently. Grief is unique to each individual, and it belongs to the person who is experiencing it. Don’t assume you know how your friend is feeling, and don’t assert your ideas about the stages of grief or where your friend should be in the grieving process.  
  • Encourage your friend to talk, and be a good listener. Ask how your friend is feeling, and then listen more than you talk. Sometimes, a person who has lost a loved one gains comfort from telling the story, so make yourself available, even if you’ve heard it before.  
  • Invite your friend to dinner. If not dinner, extend a different invitation, whether it’s for coffee, a walk or a movie. Find a lighthearted and pleasant way to spend time together to help lift your friend’s spirits.  
  • Ask for a raincheck if the first invitation isn’t accepted. Although you don’t want to pressure your friend, you should keep gently asking for some time together until you find a day and time that works for both of you.  
  • Help prepare for the holidays if it’s helpful. If your friend has always loved celebrating the holidays, he or she might really appreciate some help making things festive. It may be overwhelming to think about doing those things alone, so offering your companionship and assistance may be a kind gesture. Don’t push it, though. If the holidays are more than your friend can handle this year, that’s perfectly understandable. 

If you or someone you care about is struggling with grief this Thanksgiving, Evergreen wants to help. Our online grief support means we’re always there for you, no matter what the day or time. Online, you’ll find counseling services, group grief support and interactive videos. We can also provide aftercare for those who have suffered a loss, and help you find a support group or counselor. Call (520) 399-6652 to learn how we can help.