How to Support a Person Who Is Grieving

cemetary detroitThere 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.

Categories: Grieving

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