Grieving is a tough process which can leave a person going through it feeling vulnerable, alone, and misunderstood. If you are a friend or family of someone who is grieving, and you don’t really know how to help them, it’s ok! Grief is strange and hard to understand- especially if you’ve never gone through it yourself. You may worry you will put your foot in your mouth.
We have seven ways you can help and support your grieving friend.
If you’re looking for faith-centered grief support training, keep reading for all of our information!
- Checking In On Them
Everyone could use a friend to check in on them every so often, but especially so in grief. What’s imperative to know is that you should check in on someone in grief without expectation, just to let them know you’re there for them when they’re ready to talk. They will surely appreciate your understanding and friendship.
- Being Present
In the same vein as the last point, just being there for your friend is an excellent way to support them. Being there to listen to them, remember their lost loved one, and even sometimes just sitting in silence. It may be weird to someone who hasn’t experienced grief, but sometimes sitting in silence with someone else can be a huge comfort over doing it alone.
- Being Available In Service
When someone is grieving, making some frozen meals, or mowing their lawn for them while they are in the darkest part of their journey would be a huge help! Especially if they are not ready to talk or think about their experiences yet.
- Being Mindful Of Important Dates And Holidays
Holiday grief is tough because even if a loved one passed away months ago, the first holiday without them is going to bring up all of the emotional work that has been done in overcoming the grief. This is just a normal part of the grieving process, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Be mindful of your friends’ emotions around certain holidays or birthdays of deceased loved ones as they may be extra vulnerable then.
- Understanding The Grieving Process
In my humble opinion, this is the most important way to support your grieving friend. If you take some time and effort to learn about the grieving process and what your friend is going through, it will give you a new perspective and the empathy will help you do most of these things naturally, without a second thought.
- Be Forgiving And Flexible
Being flexible and forgiving is important, because to be honest, your friend in grief is probably going to cancel get-togethers with you a couple times or forget to give you a call back, even if that is out of character for them. Give them time, and they will surely be back to some semblance of normal again.
- Encourage Them To Do Things They Enjoy
In an appropriate amount of time, depending on the grieving process, encourage your friend to do the things you used to love together again. Make them laugh, and just be a positive light in their life.
Hopefully, if you are inexperienced with grief, you can use some of these tips to be the best friend and support person you can possibly be!
If you are looking for grief support training for your church’s grief group or anything regarding holiday grief, take a look around our website and what learning materials we offer to church leaders!