How to Really Be There For a Grieving Friend

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Everyone experiences loss at some stage in life, whether it's a job, a pet, an opportunity, or a loved one. Financial, emotional and personal losses are all setbacks in life. Friends can be a wonderful source of support when processing a loss. If you have a friend who has experienced a loss in life, use these tips for helping them during their grieving process:

Be a Good Listener

One of the best things you can do is tell your friend that you’re available to listen whenever they need to talk – and then really listen when that time comes. It can be tempting to interject with advice, but your friend is probably already overwhelmed. Rest assured that just being there to listen may be the most comforting and supportive blessing you can give them.

In most cases when someone is processing a loss, they want to be heard and listened to. Simply lending a sympathetic and genuinely compassionate ear can be a tremendous gift when someone is hurting or in need. Listening to whatever your friend wants to talk about can be of major benefit during their grieving process.

Acknowledge Their Feelings

In some cases, your friend may want to tell stories about a loved one, reminisce about the past or discuss the events that led up to their loss. They may also want to talk about how they or feeling or dealing with the loss. Mirroring back their feelings in an understanding manner can provide them with great comfort.

Offer Assistance

You can also offer to be of service to your friend in the coming weeks as they process the loss. However, saying something as vague as “Let me know if you need anything” is often less helpful than making a specific offer. Keep in mind that when grieving a loss, your friend may be so overwhelmed they won’t know exactly what they need. Even small gestures like picking up groceries or doing yard work can allow your friend to focus on other tasks as well as their grieving process.

Really being there when a friend is grieving is a sign of true friendship. Use this advice to help support friends who have experienced a loss so that they can get on the road to true healing.

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