How to Be There for Someone During the Grieving Process
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Supporting a grieving friend or family member can sometimes feel like walking on eggshells…you’re afraid you’ll say or do something that might bring pain instead of the comfort and support you intended. This fear and worry is so great that many people either don’t reach out at all or reach out with such caution that their efforts feel disingenuous, leaving their friend or family member without the support they so need during this difficult time.

Supporting a grieving loved one doesn’t have to be so hard and anxiety-ridden. We hope these tips and suggestions help:

  • Be specific. Instead of asking, “How are you?” (the answer might be obvious), asking questions like, “How are you coping?” or, “Are you getting enough rest?” or, “What are you working on right now?”
  • Lend a hand. Your friend or family member is unlikely to ask for help or even take you up on an offer, so go beyond asking what you can do to help and simply help. Drop off a casserole, show up ready to babysit with a massage certificate, or mow the lawn. Ease your loved one’s burden without requiring them to ask.
  • Listen (really listen). Ask open-ended questions and focus on giving your undivided attention rather than trying to form a response. Repeat back to indicate that you’re listening and get clarification: “You said you haven’t been feeling very well. How are you sleeping?”
  • Let the conversation stray. Let your friendship exist outside the loss. Enjoy comical stories, enjoy reminiscing together, and keep doing the things you did before to the extent your loved one prefers or allows.
  • Be honest. It’s okay to say, “I have no idea how to support you in the right way right now, but I want to help,” or, “I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.”

By lending a listening ear, alleviating the burden, and simply laughing together you can provide the support your friend or family needs so much during their time of grief.

To learn more about the grieving process, visit the blog at Mesa’s Mountain View Funeral Home.