Helping someone who’s grieving

Knowing how to be kind and compassionate to a friend, family member, or loved one after a loss can be one of the most difficult tests of a relationship. Sometimes, we tend to pull away, simply because we believe that the grieving loved one needs space or we don’t know what to say.

During these hard times, someone going through grief can feel isolated and lonely, and as a close friend or family member, we want to do everything we can to help comfort them.

Try not to let the fear of saying the wrong thing keep you from reaching out. Simply letting them know that they are on your mind can help. 

Try to listen. Sometimes those mourning the loss of a loved one want to make sure that the deceased isn’t forgotten. Revisiting warm memories of the departed can make it feel like that person’s legacy will continue on. Being a kind, listening ear to those stories can be more helpful than you imagine. 

Offer practical help. Often, not wanting to intrude, we make general offers of help to a grieving family. While this gesture is appreciated, sometimes it can be even more meaningful to make a specific offer, such as picking up groceries, or bringing food over. Sometimes, even something as simple as offering to go on a walk with your friend is a welcome relief. 

Keep supporting them. Your friend or loved one will likely continue grieving long after the funeral is over. Sometimes, it’s easy to send a casserole and a card and forget that this person is thinking about their departed friend or family member every day. Your bereaved friend or family member may need your support for months or even years.

Showing kindness to someone who is grieving can be difficult, but your friendship tends to grow deeper through these difficult times. These are some simple, but practical ways to show a loved one that they are not alone.