After the Funeral: How to Help a Grieving Friend

how to help a grieving friendUnfortunately, most of us have experienced a loss at some point in our lives. As devastating as it is, at some point, we have to begin the process of picking up the pieces and start living our lives again. In these times when we start moving on, you know all too well how crucial a role your friends played in helping you overcome your grief. Now one of your friends is coping with a loss of their own, how can you help them begin the healing process after the funeral is over?

Actions speak louder than words. Many times people want to offer words of condolences, but they don’t offer to actually help the family in mourning. After a death, it’s the day to day things that are the most overwhelming tasks to accomplish. Help your grieving friend take care of these little things, so they can focus on the big picture. This can mean doing the dishes once a week or helping them with other housework. Your acts of kindness speak volumes more than words ever will.

Make time for them. Expressing grief is not something everyone does easily; so many people just assume that the bereaved wants time to themselves. While this could be the case, they shouldn’t be forced into seclusion. Make some room in your schedule to do “stuff” with your friend. This could be going bowling or hiking. Just get them out of the house for a little bit and make sure they understand that there’s no pressure to talk about their sadness. They can use this time to lead a “normal” life.

Be a barrier and/or a source of information. After a death, well-wishers frequently come out of the woodwork and, although they mean well, sometimes they can actually do more harm than good when they continually bring up the death over and over. One way to help your friend is by being a barrier to a lot of the nonstop questions and condolences. Offer to be a source of information and pass on the pertinent info to those who want to know and let well-meaning visitors know that, while their sympathies are greatly appreciated and will be passed on, now is not a good time to see your grieving friend.

Being a good friend to someone who is in the middle of grieving the loss of a loved one can be a challenge, but your loyalty and sincerity are the greatest things you can offer to your pal in their time of need.


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