Helping a Grieving Friend? Here Is What You Can Do
Each year, about 2.5 million people die, leaving behind an average of five people with grief.
If you know someone who recently lost a loved one, you might be wondering what to do when helping a grieving friend.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do (and not do). Keep reading to find out what they are!
When you're comforting them, it can be difficult to know what to say, so you might end up using some cliches that are typically associated with grief.
For example, many people try to say things like: "They're in a better place now." Or "Everything happens for a reason."
These sayings might be true, but they rarely help people move on or deal with their grief. When you aren't sure what to say, just try listening to them or being there and being silent just so they're not alone.
Don't Be Overly Positive
While you might try and make the situation a lot better, being overly positive and forcing them to do can do more damage than good.
Sometimes people just want you to be honest with them. If their situation sucks, you can tell them that you know it does. Be sympathetic towards them and just listen to what they're saying rather than just trying to always fix it.
Offer Practical Help
If they're dealing with grief, it might be difficult for them to do basic tasks that they were used to doing beforehand.
For example, if they are too tired or depressed to plan a funeral, research your options, and help them out!
You could also cook meals for them or go to the grocery store to get them food. If they aren't okay with accepting your help, you can try and frame it as no big deal for you. For example, you can say you were already going and are willing to pick something up for them.
Make sure the grieving friend knows that you're always there and will continue to be there. They might be scared of losing another person right now.
Lastly, make sure that you never try and compare your experiences.
If their father just died, don't compare it to the time your pet goldfish died. It might be a natural instinct to try and relate to them, but it will make their grief feel invalid.
Instead, just bite your tongue and offer an ear instead.
Learn More About Helping a Grieving Friend
These are only a few ways for helping a grieving friend, but there are more things you can try and do as well.
At the end of the day, it's important to just be there for them and always be willing to listen. If you think they need professional help, you can spend time trying to help them find that as well.
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