When a Friend is Grieving

Giving support to a bereaved friend means that you do not need to find the “right words”.   There are simply no words that will take away the pain of grief.

A grieving person needs to feel and express the pain physically and emotionally, before moving on to the task of making new beginnings.

As their friend you can show empathy, showing you that you understand their need to talk, cry, share, reminisce or sometimes just sit together in silence.

There are also other feelings that need to be understood that are a normal part of the grieving process.   These include: anger, guilt, relief, emptiness, low self esteem, fear, confusion, numbness, yearning and loneliness…

 Resulting behaviors may include: 

  • lack of interest in oneself
  • lack of interest in routine activities
  • poor memory
  • poor concentration
  • crying
  • sighing
  • dreams
  • pre-occupation with the loss
  • irritation with idle chatter

Be encouraged that as a friend you do not need special qualifications to be a genuine help to a friend or family member.

 Showing Support Means: 

  • Listening – as the bereaved tell their story over and over
  • Allowing – the expression of feelings without judgment
  • Understanding – each person will grieve in their own unique way
  • Encouraging – talk about the deceased and memories
  • Sharing – your own tears and their tears
  • Touching – giving a hug or a squeeze of the hand
  • Knowing – when to be silent, just being there is important
  • Providing – time for the bereaved to have their own time by answering their phone, door, or taking them for a drive.
  • Lending a Hand – doing the routine chores
  • Mentioning – the name of the deceased without fear
  • Being Aware – that grief can have physical symptoms: tension pains, cold sores, low energy, poor appetite and restlessness.
  • Realizingthat you don’t have to answer the “why” question
  • Reassuring – that the bereaved persons reactions are normal
  • Remembering – that grief may surface at significant times in the future. (Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries, sights & smells)

 Helping a friend who is grieving means you must be willing to share some of the pain.

This takes courage and a special kind of friendship.

Individuals will come to terms with their grief in their own way, there are no set rules of behavior and there is no set time for recovery.   But a friend can make it a less lonely and fearful time, by letting their grief take its natural journey

 ‘’Supporting a Grieving Friend ‘’