How to Help a Grieving Friend

March 15, 2021 6:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When your friend has lost a loved one, you’re probably inclined to want to support them in any way you can, but even the best intentions can go astray. It’s important to remember that you can’t fix all their problems, so focus on comforting them in this difficult time instead. Read on for tips on how to help a grieving friend in Chicago, IL.

Provide space for them to speak

One of the most comforting gestures you can offer to a grieving friend is also the simplest: just listen. Check in on them and be there when they need to talk, whether they’re sharing memories of their loved one or processing their feelings. Resist the impulse to offer advice if it’s not solicited. The best way to be supportive right now is to listen and empathize.

Offer specific ways you can help

In times of grief, people will commonly offer help “if there’s anything you need.” However, the lack of specificity puts the onus on the person who’s already grieving to ask for help. Keep in mind that you’re trying to make their life a little easier during this tough time, so a better way to offer help is to be specific with your suggestion.

Providing concrete solutions like grabbing groceries or taking care of school pickup is less overwhelming than a broad and vague offer. Offering specific help can also reassure your grieving friend that helping them wouldn’t be a burden, since you’re the one who suggests it and it establishes the boundaries of what you’re able to provide.

Make a care package

Show your support by putting together a care package. The items you include can range from basic necessities to thoughtful gifts—anything you think will help your friend with their grief. Save them a shopping trip for toiletries by including things that get replaced frequently, like tissues or toothpaste. If you’re including food, make sure it’s easy to make or ready to eat, with non-perishable items being ideal so nothing will go bad quickly. Small gifts like candles or bath bombs can help your friend to remember to take time for themselves. You might even include resources like information about support groups to provide them with tools for managing their grief.

Avoid being insensitive

The last thing you want to do is make a delicate situation worse, but you might unintentionally end up saying the wrong thing in an attempt to be supportive. By saying “everything happens for a reason” or the loved one is “in a better place now,” it implies that the loss of a loved one is actually a positive thing. Also avoid making assumptions about how your friend is feeling, as everyone deals with grief in their own way.

Are you helping a friend who is coping with loss in Chicago, IL? The caring staff at Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. offers compassionate, customized funeral services. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can guide friends and family through the grieving process.

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