How to Comfort a Long-Distance Friend Who Is Grieving

Posted on January 15, 2022 by Bevis Funeral Home under Dealing with Loss, Grief Support, Sympathy
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When comforting a grieving friend, it’s often difficult to find the right words to say. It’s even more difficult when you can’t say those words in person. There are a number of ways to comfort a long-distance friend without being there in person, however. From texting them to sending a thoughtful care package, the most important thing you can do is let them know you are thinking of them, even from far away.

Stay Involved

Thanks to technology, there are several ways to support a grieving friend without being there in person. If you know there will be a memorial service for your friend’s loved one, inquire whether it will be live-streamed. You may be able to attend virtually. If not, many online obituaries allow you to leave a message of comfort for the grieving family and friends. Even if you can’t attend the funeral service, your friend will appreciate the support during this difficult time.

Send Something Thoughtful

Sending a gift of some kind is a thoughtful way to comfort a long-distance friend. While they certainly will not expect anything from you, it’s an easy way to show that you are thinking of them. This can be anything, from a heartfelt note to a care package filled with their favorite items. You can also send flowers, the most traditional condolence gift. Whatever you choose to send does not need to be expensive or elaborate, however. The most important thing is that your friend knows you are thinking of them.

Go Beyond Surface-Level

When communicating with a long-distance friend, it can be difficult for conversations to go beyond surface-level subjects. Making an intentional effort to dig deeper and really talk is a valuable way to comfort a long-distance friend who is grieving. They may answer a question of “How are you?” with a simple, “I’m doing OK,” even if that is not how they feel at all. Whether you talk over text, phone call, video chat or email, communicate in whatever way makes your friend feel most comfortable. You don’t need to push too hard or badger them, but make sure they feel heard. Your job is not to fix things, but to provide a space that allows them to share openly.

Check In Often

Even if you share a few meaningful conversations with your friend, it’s important to keep checking back with them over time. Do not assume that they don’t want to speak with you just because they don’t reciprocate your calls. They may be afraid of being a burden or dragging you down with their grief. Instead, check in periodically, even if those check-ins are brief. If you want to truly comfort a long-distance friend, don’t just check in on them in the immediate aftermath. Grief can be a long journey, and they will likely need continued support for some time.

Remember Important Days

It might sound strange, but a thoughtful way to comfort a long-distance friend is to mark their loved one’s date of death on your calendar. That anniversary will be a difficult day for them, and a simple call or text to say you are thinking of them can mean a lot. It shows that you care enough to remember the details, even a year (or more) later.

Long-distance friendships can sometimes be difficult to maintain, but they are no less meaningful than any other relationship. It’s important to comfort a long-distance friend who recently experienced a loss even if you can’t be there in person. They will see and appreciate the effort you make to support them.

Bevis Funeral Home is pleased to offer families in our care high-quality, live-streamed funeral services for their friends and family who cannot attend due to distance, illness, military service or travel limitations. To learn more about our live streaming services, speak with one of our funeral directors at 850.385.2193.

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