Supporting Friends or Family Who Are Grieving
Acknowledge all feelings.
- Their grief reactions are natural and necessary. Do not pass judgment on how “well” they are or are not coping.
Know that everyone grieves differently.
- Know and accept that how your friend or family member copes with their loss may be very different from how you would cope, even in the same situation.
There is no right way to grieve and mourn.
- Be very careful not to impose your expectations on someone else, no matter how much you think it might help.
Be specific in your willingness to help.
- Do not be vague and say "If you need any help let us know." Take the initiative and offer assistance with chores such as childcare or meals.
Identify friends who might be willing to help with specific tasks on a regular basis
- By getting a group of friends together and dividing chores among yourselves, such as picking up the kids from school or cooking meals, you will be a major help to the grieving family
Acknowledge that life won’t “feel the same” and the person may not be “back to normal.”
- Help the person to renew interest in past activities and hobbies, when they are ready, or discover new areas of interest.