If you know someone who has lost a loved one, then you know that finding the right words to say, figuring out the best way to support, and comforting in the way they need is hard work. We don’t want to make them feel worse or make them think about it too much—how do we find that perfect balance?
There’s no right answer since everyone deals with grief differently. But you can follow some tips to figure out how to help someone you love through grief. Learn more below.
Start by Reaching Out
Whether your friend just lost a loved one or is processing tough news, you should reach out right away. It doesn’t need to be something incredibly intricate. A text message apologizing for their loss, a phone call reminding them you’re there if they need anything, or even an email helps show that you can offer support. The sooner you do it, the better.
Don’t Always Try To Put a Positive Spin on It
You reached out. Now what? When it comes to furthering the conversation, don’t try to paint it all positively. Especially soon after, most people don’t want to see the positives—they just need some time to process what happened. And that’s rarely positive.
If they start the positive talk—“they’re in a better place,” “they lived a full life,” “this will bring you all closer”—then you can agree. But if your first instinct is to focus on the positive and potentially downplay what happened, try something else instead.
Find Your Own Way To Express Your Love
How do you show your support? We’ve always heard that the polite thing is to shift to positivity. But if that’s not beneficial, how do you help someone you love through grief? Take some time to think about how you typically express love. Do you make cookies? Do you give hugs? Make cards? Do what you would normally do to show your love. Here are a few ideas:
- Write them a letter
- Make them dinner
- Cry with them
- Bring them their favorite coffee
- Babysit their kids
- Give them a spa day
Try To Help Honor Their Memory, Even When Time Passes
This last little tip here seems small, but it makes a big impact. Grief can lay heavy on someone’s mind for years to come. To support, you can make sure to honor that memory, even as time goes on.
There are tons of ways to honor the memory of a loved one. Try to show support even when it’s no longer at the forefront.
Hopefully, these tips help you on your journey of authentic support.