Friendship is a two way street and while it can be tempting to avoid a friend who has recently been bereaved because you don’t know what to say or how to act, your support and friendship can be vital in helping them through a difficult time. Here are five ways that you can help support them through a tough period of their life.
1 – Lend an ear
It’s totally natural to feel unsure as to what to say to a friend that has been recently bereaved. You may worry that you’ll not be able to comfort them properly, your words might sound hollow or that you might say the wrong thing.
However, the best gift that you can give someone in their position is to be a good listener, quietly listening and allowing them to open up – if they want to.
2 – Give practical help
There is nothing wrong with offering your help, but it’s much better to be pro-active and offer to do the dishes or take the dog for a walk than it is to simply let them know you are willing to offer your help, should they need it. Often the person might feel rude to ask you directly to help with something like cooking dinner, driving them somewhere or doing the washing, but they do really need the help. Early on, you could offer to be the messenger between family and friends of the deceased, helping to keep them in touch with funeral arrangements.
3 – Do something fun
As the grieving process develops and becomes more intense, many people will withdraw into themselves and become very isolated. They may stop doing the activities that they once enjoyed and pull back from their social life. Inviting a friend for a home-cooked meal, going for a walk or taking them somewhere where they won’t feel pressured to talk such as a play, a movie or a football match could be exactly what they need. Equally, inviting a recently bereaved friend to join in with one of your interests might give them something new to focus on.
4 – Recognise the stages of grief
In our article ‘Coping With The Loss of a Loved One’, we talk about the different stages of grief and what to expect. As a friend, reading this article and familiarising yourself with the different stages might help you to get a better understanding of their mindset.
5 – Find support
Everyone deals with their grief in their own way but if you are worried about how someone is coping then there are lots of support groups, charities and professional grief counsellors who are able to offer help and advice. Click here to read our free guide to ‘Coping With The Loss of a Loved One’ which features a list of organisations who may be able to help.
For help and advice on organising a funeral, please contact us on 0151 228 3900, or leave us a message through our contact us page by clicking here.