How to be Available for Friends Experiencing Grief
What is most helpful to say when supporting a friend in grief?
Thinking about what to say and what not to say can often be a stumbling block to saying anything, and that resulting silence can be extremely painful to the person who is grieving. As hard as it may be to overcome your initial discomfort, acknowledging your friend’s loss is critical to their healing process. The support of family and friends is a key determinant in how long and how painful the grieving process may be, as well as how someone heals and recovers over time. You can be an important part of this recovery process.
The most important thing you can offer: No judgment
Grief is individual, nonlinear and varies in duration. Some people may be very outwardly sad, others not. Some may be visibly angry, and others may seem to be unaffected. Someone’s personality, support system, natural coping mechanisms and more will determine how a loss affects them. To learn more about grief check out this great resource HealGrief.org where you can learn more to help support a friend. You can also find information there that may help you cope with the loss and grief you may encounter in your own life.