How to Help Someone Who is Grieving
Watching someone you care about cope with the loss of a loved one can be difficult, especially when you’re not sure what to do or say to help comfort them.
While you are not expected to take on the role of a therapist or counselor, you should still be there to support the grieving person and be mindful of how your interactions are making them feel.
Though each person’s grieving process is different, here are a few tips for helping someone you care about cope with grief.
Don’t monopolize the conversation
When having a conversation with someone who’s grieving, don’t feel like you have to do all the talking. Let those who are grieving talk about their feelings, and be there to listen. It is not uncommon for mourners to repeat stories or other memories, but you should allow them to do so, as reminiscing may bring them comfort.
You should also avoid rambling about topics that have no relevance to the mourner’s grief, and try not to use the moment to talk about your own personal hardships. While it may be well-intentioned, this may make them feel unimportant and disregarded.
Help relieve additional stressors
In many cultures, it’s customary to bring a covered dish to a family who is mourning the loss of a loved one, but if you really want to help somebody who’s coping with grief, you may also consider assisting with other household chores. When you lighten the load of somebody who is mourning, you allow them to focus on their grief without the pressure of handling their day-to-day responsibilities.
Make yourself available
Though you’re not expected to be on call around the clock, it’s always nice to be flexible in terms of offering your time to somebody who’s grieving. Always be present, and never shy away with your support. Even if you can’t visit them in person, a phone call will let them know you’re available to talk when they need you.
Help find other grief support options
When someone is grieving, it’s important to allow the process to occur—however long that process may take. Every person must cope with loss on his or her own terms, so don’t rush or dismiss their pain. If your loved one is still struggling to cope with grief after an extended period of time, help them find additional grief support resources such as support groups or a therapist.
If you or somebody you know is in need of grief support, call Bevis Funeral Home at 850-386-3579 or visit our Grief Support Resources page to learn about your options.