Helping a Grieving Friend
Death is difficult for everyone. Even if you have experienced a loss yourself it is still difficult to console someone close to you who has suffered a loss. Below are some tips and suggestions on how you can help the bereaved. For more information you may reference http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm
How You Can Help A Grieving Friend
Before the Funeral
- Offer to notify family and friends about funeral arrangements.
- House-sit to prevent burglaries during the funeral and visitations.
- Help answering the phone and greeting visitors.
- Keep a record of everyone who calls, visits or has been contacted
- Help coordinate the food and drink supply.
- Offer to pick up friends and family at the airport & arrange housing.
- Offer to provide transportation for out-of-town visitors.
- Help keep the house cleaned and the dishes washed.
After the Funeral (consider doing these every week for two to three months).
- Prepare or provide dinner on a day that is mutually acceptable.
- Offer to help with yard chores such as watering or pruning.
- Feed and exercise the pets, if any.
- Write notes offering encouragement and support.
- Offer to drive or accompany him to the cemetery regularly.
- Offer to house sit so he can get away or visit family out of town.
- Make a weekly run to the grocery store, laundry, or cleaners.
- Help with the Thank You notes and/or other correspondence.
- Anticipate difficult periods such as anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and the day of death.
- Always mention the deceased by name and encourage reminiscing.
What You Should Say and Do
- Say "I'm sorry."
- Give them the opportunity to talk about the deceased.
- Allow them to share their memories.
- Use the deceased person's name.
- Validate that grieving is normal.
- Ask them how you can help.
Remember, the best support you can offer the bereaved is to listen and be understanding. You don't need to say much. You just need to be there for them.