When a friend loses a loved one, it can put us in a bit of an awkward position. Depending on the relationship, we may consider ourselves family, and they may consider us similarly, which means we could feel their pain deeply.
The best thing friends can do is to be supportive during times of grief. Here are some of the best ways we can support a friend who is grieving.
Write a Personal Note
If you are comfortable expressing yourself in writing, compose a personal, heartfelt note. A personal, handwritten note can have a profound effect on your friend and they will be grateful for it.
As friends, you probably already have ways you interact. Now is the time to spend more time actively listening. Keep in mind, they may not always be seeking advice. They may just need a friendly ear.
Remember, everyone grieves in their own way and at their own pace. Avoid giving advice on how to grieve or stating “what I would do.”
Avoid Using Clichés
Avoid using phrases that your friend has likely been hearing over and over again. Your friend will remember how you made them feel more than they will remember what you said. Your relationship is probably deeper than you using clichés.
Offer Practical Assistance
You, as a friend, are in a good position to offer assistance with practical and perhaps even mundane daily tasks or errands. Offer to watch kids, shop, take their car in for service, or do other tasks they may be uncomfortable asking others to do. You may be in a better position to know what some of these tasks may be. Reach out and make the offer.
Stay in touch following funeral services and keep them engaged. Arrange for coffee, lunch, dinner, or a movie. Do something you two did together prior to their loss. Let them know you are there when needed.
Acknowledge Special Dates
Reach out and recognize special occasions in your friend’s and the deceased’s lives. These can include birthdays, anniversaries, and other events of significance.
Recognize the Impact of their Grief
Friends often have relationships that include going back and forth with jokes and light-hearted conversation. Recognize that they may be truly hurting. Give them time to regain their balance.
As a friend of a person who is grieving, you can play a valuable, practical role. Don’t be afraid to ask what you can do or even suggest ideas. Don’t be afraid to get dirty by washing a vehicle or mowing a yard. That’s what friends are for.
Do you need help in preplanning final services? Do you have a current need? We would be honored to serve as your family’s funeral home. Reach out to the Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory with your questions. We have proudly been serving families in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas for over 125 years.