6 ways you can support grieving family and friends
Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult experience for those who held them close to their heart. It can also be challenging to know how to support someone who is going through the grieving process. This blog aims to help provide some general tips that can help you support your grieving friends and family.
1. Offer your condolences – Reach out to your grieving friend or family member and offer kind words of support that really show how much you care. For example, you could say something like “I’m sorry for your loss” or “My condolences to you and your family”. It’s usually an idea to keep your message simple and sincere but of course this would be different if you know the person who’s dealing with their loss extremely well, then you can add a more personal touch.
2. Listen – It’s absolutely essential to provide your grieving friend or family member a chance to talk to you. This could be about the wonderful memories they have of the loved one who has passed, this can be an excellent way of celebrating the amazing memories they had with that person. It could also be listening to your friend or family members feelings and talking through those feelings with them because you need to show them emotional support if they’re seeking that from you. Listen actively and attentively and don’t try to rush them or brush their pain under the carpet as if it’s something they shouldn’t be experiencing.
3. Be present – It’s highly important that you’re emotionally supportive to your grieving family or friend, which has already been mentioned, but you must also be physically there too. Small gestures can make a massive difference to someone, for example, you could offer to lend a helping hand with practical tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or simply taking time out of your day to sit with them or partake in an activity of their choice, if that’s what they wish.
4. Respect their grieving process – Everyone deals with grieving differently and there’s certainly no right or wrong way to grieve. You shouldn’t judge or criticise your friend or family member for the way in which they deal with their loss, it’s entirely up to them. You should also be prepared for their grieving process to last over a long period of time as well, this is completely normal, everyone registers loss at different times too and again, there is no right or wrong answer for this.
5. Avoid cliches – It’s a good idea to avoid the use of insensitive cliched phrases such as “everything happens for a reason” or “they’re in a better place”. Even if these phrases are well-intentioned, they often come across as showing a lack of true care and respect. You must put how they feel before anything and take extra time to think about how you may come across to your grieving friend or family member during sensitive moments.
6. Check-in – Grieving is a long process, so it’s important that you continue to check-in on your family or friend a long time after the initial shock has passed. There can be lots of times where grief is randomly triggered, so it’s important that you’re there as a point-of-call if your needed for support or to go and spend some physical time with that person.
Overall, it’s imperative to keep in mind that grief is a highly personal experience, there’s no right or wrong answers and the most important thing you can do for your family or friend is to let them know you truly care and that you are consistently there for them in whichever way they feel appropriate. If you would like any support or guidance over matters surrounding a funeral, then please do get in touch with us here at SC & BS Cocks, we’re more than happy to help.