How to Help a Friend Through the Grieving Process

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

When someone we care about passes on, it is a difficult, extremely painful period. However, it’s not unusual to find ourselves in a situation where someone we are close to has lost someone that is close to them. A friend may have lost a grandparent or some other person with whom we don’t share the same close, personal connection. When this happens, we may sympathize with the loss, but our grief isn’t—and couldn’t—be as intense or personal as the person who is bereaved. So what should you do when a friend is grieving, and you want to help?

Be Patient

Above all else, exercising patience is tremendously important in helping a friend through the grieving process. It may not seem like much, and to some, it may even feel like doing nothing. But exercising patience can be the difference between allowing someone to experience their feelings and move on, and inappropriately telling someone, “Just get over it.”

There is no set way to grieve. Some people will take a long time; others may take just a few months or weeks. Some people will need to talk and share their feelings. Others will internalize their grief and deal with it inwardly, going from chatty, easy going people to silent thinkers.

You need to understand and accept this behavior. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and each person will do it in a way that is personal and unique to them. It is a necessary process, and there is no strict timetable, so the best thing you can do for a person during this period is understand and accept the process.

Be Helpful

The tragic reality of a loved one’s passing is that it leaves a hole in the people left behind, and one of the first things to fill that emptiness is emotional pain. Often this pain is so powerful and disruptive that it occupies everything in a friend’s life, especially during the early, recent period of a loss.

When this happens, it’s not unusual—and even expected—for a normal routine to be completely turned upside down. School and tests may no longer feel important, paying the bills or doing laundry seem pointless. At a time like this, one way to show support is to help out a little in the short term. Do the laundry, or drive the kids to school, shovel the sidewalk or whatever other chores may be neglected. You do not want to do anything that will create a dependency in the long term, which would be unhealthy for both of you.

But making assistive efforts during the most difficult portion of the experience can help a friend to better deal with grief. Remember, however; this is only a temporary measure when your friend is feeling overwhelmed. You should not attempt to replace the loved one’s roles or responsibilities. Grieving is a process of accepting the changes in life, not pretending they’re not there.

If you are helping a friend through this difficult time or perhaps are even assisting in the planning of funeral arrangements, make sure they’re done right by consulting with professionals.

If you live in Stamford, CT, contact us here at Nutmeg Cremation and let us use our experience for the benefit of you and your friend to ease the burdens in this time of grief.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Tips for Explaining the Concept of Death to Children

Most kids do not fully understand what death is and that it is permanent. They are unable to recognize its significance and parents or guardians have to explain the concept to them. However, this c...

Personalizing a Funeral Service on a Budget

Nutmeg State Cremation Society believes that a funeral service helps families and close friends of the deceased recover from their loss. Many families that have lost a loved one want to plan a spec...

5 Tips to Help a Friend Through the Grieving Process

If you have a grieving friend, you might find it painful to witness their agony. Many people are unaware of how to console a bereaved person, and as a result, make errors in dealing with them. Bei...

Choosing the Perfect Songs for the Funeral Service

Selecting funeral music can be difficult. You must find something significant while not upsetting family members and other attendees. At Nutmeg State Cremation Society, we have seen many families s...

5 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

At Nutmeg State Cremation Society, we have seen that attending a funeral can be difficult for many people. While it’s a way to show support to the family of the deceased and to say goodbye to the d...

Ways To Say Goodbye To A Loved One

It is never easy to say farewell to a loved one that has passed away. Even if you had ample time and were told that he or she was ill or dying, saying good-by is tough. Furthermore, since ever...

Choosing a Cremation Casket

A cremation casket is a respectful way to transport the body before their remains go to the crematorium. It can be used at the funeral if one is held prior to the final disposition. Keeping the cre...

What Can A Funeral Director Assist Me With?

A funeral director is your primary point of contact while organizing last rites and formalities. They provide practice support, straightforward advice, and compassionate counseling during a difficu...

What Are Prepaid Cremation Services?

Planning a cremation service involves some expense and depending on the services you opt for, the costs can sometimes be high. Families with modest means or too many financial commitments find it d...

What to Do After a Loved One Dies

When there is a death in your immediate family, you have to plan and organize various things. Many formalities must be completed right after the death, while others have to be tackled over the cour...