There is no "right" way to support a person who is grieving.
Just as everyone grieves in his or her unique way, individuals may be
comforted in different ways. It may be difficult for you to know what
to say at the
cemetery or after the cremation. Often, simply being there for your friend or family
member is enough.
Initiate a Conversation
After the funeral ceremony,
approach your friend to offer your condolences. Use direct language and be genuine with your words. Let your friend know
that you're sorry his or her loved one has died and that your heart
goes out to him or her during this time. Instead of asking questions about
how your friend feels at the cemetery in Detroit, ask whether he or she
wishes to talk. If so, be a good listener. Avoid interjecting yourself
into the conversation whenever possible; instead, let your friend talk
as much as he or she needs to.
Offer Your Support
Let your friend know that he or she has your support. You can tell your
friend that he or she can turn to you whenever he or she feels the need
to talk or needs a shoulder to cry on. You can also offer practical support.
For example, your friend may need help with the funeral planning process.
You might help your friend plan a funeral ceremony in Flint, MI by contacting
distant family members and friends to let them know of the arrangements.
In the days and weeks ahead, your friend may need assistance with everyday
tasks. Offer to walk the dog, go shopping for groceries, or help your
friend sort through his or her loved one's belongings.
Avoid Certain Statements
While speaking with your friend, remember that certain statements may be
misconstrued. Your friend may take offense with direct instructions, such
as "You should visit a support group." Instead, offer suggestions,
such as "If you want to try a support group, I'll go with you
if you wish." Additionally, it's best to avoid telling your friend
that you know how he or she feels, that the decedent is now in a better
place, or that it's time for your friend to move past the loss. Remember
that your friend needs to grieve in his or her own way.