Listen and Love: Helping Friends Cope with Grief

When someone has experienced a loss, it can be difficult to know how to help. Everyone deals with grief differently. Some people want to talk about it, others need to cry, and some show no emotion at all.

Experts say the best thing you can do is listen. Mourners do not want advice at a time like this, after all no one knows exactly what they are feeling and thinking. Some people grieve much faster than others, and everyone needs to heal at their own pace. Listen without judgment, ask about memories, share your stories, and be patient. If they are not yet ready to talk, do not force it; wait until they come to you.

If you do feel your friend needs help dealing with the situation, seek the help of a professional, give a book from our grief library, or refer them to an informative website. As a friend, your focus should be on offering loving support.

During grief, it can be difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Help your loved one by cooking a meal, picking up the kids from school or doing laundry. Little things make all the difference and show how much you care.

Everyone is there, immediately after the funeral. Be there for your friend in the weeks, months and years after the funeral. Remember to reach out and support him or her on birthdays, holidays, and other special events. Those are the moments when your care will really mean the most.