When someone close to you experiences a difficult loss, you may not know how to offer support. People are often afraid of saying the wrong thing or making them feel worse. However, don’t let discomfort get in the way of reaching out to a friend in grief. At Simple Cremation in Dallas and Fort Worth, we understand that death brings about many painful and intense emotions including sadness, guilt, and anger. When your loved ones need support, you can help them heal in a number of different ways. Here are some tips and advice for comforting a grieving friend after a painful loss.
Most often, well-meaning friends and family members avoid or change the subject when the deceased person is brought up in conversation. For some individuals, this means their loss is not acknowledged or recognized. By asking “Do you want to talk about them?” you are inviting your friend to share fond memories and stories of their loved ones. They can also talk about their own feelings of loss. By allowing them to retell and repeat certain details, they may be able to process and accept death. However, if they choose not to talk about their loved one, honor their request and patiently try to find an alternate way to support them.
The grieving person faces many difficult emotions, which means they may not have the energy to ask for help. They can even feel guilty about asking as they don’t want to be a burden to others. Or worse, perhaps they don’t know what they need. As a solution, try to offer specific ways you can help them. For instance, instead of saying “Is there anything I can do?” try, “I’m going to the grocery store later today. What can I bring you?”
Other examples include:
Try to be consistent, but not overwhelming in offering help. If they don’t need anything, you can simply ask to spend quality time with them. In this case, you can try, “I’m going on a walk with my dog. Do you want to join us for some fresh air?” After a couple of months, the shock will wear off and friends and family stop offering their comfort. Continue to check in every once in a while after the majority of the support has stopped.
Grief is not like other afflictions such as a cold or surgery that someone can simply heal from. Instead, grief is something that a person learns to live with. Good days may be followed by bad ones, laughter and tears can show up simultaneously, and ordinary things may bring up memories in an unpredictable way. Try to be patient with how a grieving person reacts to your attempts at comforting them. There will come a time that your calls or presence will be appreciated and probably offer more healing than you might ever know.
Simple Cremation is a family-owned and operated cremation service provider in Dallas and Fort Worth, offering expert advice on processing death, grief, and offering compassion to loved ones when they need it the most. As our team is available 24 hours a day, we encourage you to contact us for any questions and concerns you may have about the cremation process and planning arrangements. We are dedicated to serving clients with empathy and care.