When a close friend is currently grieving after a loss, we tend to worry and find it hard to say and do the right thing. Losing someone brings intense and painful emotions like deep sadness, guilt, anger, anxiety, and depression. Most of the time, grief makes us feel lonely especially when people around you have a hard time offering support.
Whether you’re scared of saying the wrong thing or making your friend feel worse, remember that the best way to show support to a grieving friend is to be present. Don’t let this fear stop you from reaching out, this is the time your friend needs all your love and support. In this article, Funeral Caring USA provides insight on how to support a grieving friend. This is a difficult time and your friend will remember your support for years to come.
Understand how grief works
In order to support a grieving friend, we must first understand grief. If we don’t understand how grief works, we might say minimizing, unhelpful, or even hurtful things to our bereaved friend. To start, grief is extremely personal and there isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve. It’s also crucial to know that for some, grief can take months or years. Grief feels like an emotional rollercoaster with highs and lows so avoid telling your friend how they “should” be feeling.
One of the biggest worries is to say the wrong thing, however, it’s more important that you listen. While we might have good intentions, we tend to avoid uncomfortable subjects and we might try to talk about something else and avoid mentioning the deceased person. Our grieving friend needs to feel that their feelings are being acknowledged. Whether your friend just wants to cry, sit in silence, or vent, being present and listening to your friend is one of the best things you can do.
Don’t ask your friend to call you if they need anything because they won’t call. This is because it’s hard to identify what we need when we’re grieving. The best way to support is to offer practical assistance. Whether that’s walking the dogs or cooking dinner, your friend will appreciate it a lot. Try to anticipate these needs and try to be consistent and reliable, this will show that you truly love your friend and are there for them.
Above all, just be there for your friend showing your love. To support a grieving friend you need to show up and say and do something. Standing beside your friend with patience is a great act of love.