Lending a Helping Hand: What to Do When Your Friend Is Grieving

When someone we care about experiences a loss and is grieving, it is often difficult to know just the right thing to say or do.

Knowing how to comfort a friend can be as simple as just being there. Often your presence is enough but maybe you want to do more.

Here are some inspiring ways to offer help when a friend is grieving.

Allow Them to Express Their Grief

If you want to know how to help a friend cope with loss, give them the freedom to express their grief on their own terms.

Some people get sad and cry. Others have anger and need to vent. Others need to stay on the move and keep busy.

The important thing to remember is you cannot control how they grieve. All you can do is be there while they do.

Don’t try to diminish or lessen their pain. It won’t work. Just allow them the time and means to process how they see fit.

When a Friend Is Grieving There Is No Time Limit

When someone dies, there is usually an abundance of support at the beginning. Everyone comes around to help out. After the service and some time has passed, however, many go back to their normal routine.

For your friend, finding their normal again will be difficult. Do not rush them to push past their pain. Everyone must deal with loss and healing on their own timetable.

There isn’t a time limit on your friendship either. Just continue to be there for them.

It’s Ok to Talk About the Deceased

Many people avoid the mention of the loved one who passed because they don’t want to cause more pain. The truth is, your grieving friend may want to talk about them.

It may be healing and calming to tell stories or relive moments. Don’t assume their life or even their death is off-limits for conversation.

Simply ask them if they want to talk about it. Or ask to hear a special story or memory. If they aren’t ready, they will say so. You will have opened the door for when they are.

Ask What They Really Need

Sometimes understanding how to help a friend is as easy as asking them. If they are dealing with arrangements, plans, or trying to make sense of things, just ordinary tasks can be overwhelming. A gift for someone grieving can take on many forms.

Maybe they need some groceries delivered or a prescription picked up. Does the garbage need to be taken out or the floors cleaned? No task is too big or small if it helps them through this journey.

Depending on the circumstances, they may even need help in handling the emotional distress that comes with an unfortunate accident.

Just Be Yourself

The best way to help when your friend is grieving is to just be yourself.

They love you for who you are and your place in their life. They don’t expect you to take away their pain. They just want you to walk through it with them.

For more ways to practice mindfulness and find self-improvement on your journey, check back for our helpful recommendations.

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