When a friend is grieving, he or she will need your emotional support more than ever before, yet it’s difficult to know exactly how to support someone who has suffered a loss. This is because everyone grieves in a unique way; some mourners may need to talk about their loved one to keep the memories alive, while others may be unable to bear hearing the loved one’s name. During the funeral services and for years to come, showing your friend that you care will help him or her cope with the loss.
Conversing with Your Friend
Sometimes, people keep their distance from grieving friends for fear of saying the wrong thing. It’s best to avoid saying anything that might be taken the wrong way, such as any statements that begin with “You should” or “You will.” Similarly, avoid giving statements like the following:
- “Your loved one is in a better place.”
- “I know how you feel.”
- “It’s time to move on.”
- “It’s all part of the universal plan.”
Your friend needs to hear simple words of comfort that do not imply judgment, such as, “I’m truly sorry for your loss,” and “I’m here for you.” Take your cue from your grieving friend. If he or she wants to discuss the decedent or the manner of death, go along with the conversation and let your friend do most of the talking. If not, perhaps your friend simply needs you to sit in silence with him or her.
Offering Practical Assistance
It’s common for friends of mourners to say, “Let me know what I can do to help you.” While this may be appreciated, a mourner won’t necessarily accept the offer. Instead, be specific in your offers of assistance. Offer to accompany your friend to the funeral home to make the arrangements, walk the dog, provide childcare, or organize the reception.
Checking in Regularly
Make a note on your calendar of difficult days for your friend such as the decedent’s birthday. Check in with your friend on these days and throughout the year. Long after the funeral, your friend will need your support .
Grief counseling is available in Lakewood, Washington for all those who have lost someone dear to them. Visit the website of Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park, and Crematory to access our online grief support services any time of the day or night. If it’s time to make final arrangements or discuss funeral pre-planning, you can call a funeral director at (253) 584-0252.