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12 Ways to Help Someone Who's Grieving

Where Legacy Lives On.

Want to help someone who's grieving? It can be hard to watch a friend or loved one mourn a loss. Having a friend can make the world of difference. Here are some ideas on how you can provide much-needed support. 



  1. In the weeks and months after the funeral, reach out to him as often as possible. Give him a call, stop by his home or send him emails or letters to let him know you’re thinking of him. Some grieving people tend to withdraw. If he asks to be left alone, respect his privacy; but make it clear you’re here for him whenever he needs you.


  1. Lend an ear. Ask your grieving friend or loved one if she needs to talk. If she does, listen intently. Expressing emotions and sharing memories is often the best therapy for a grieving person.


  1. Reflect on the good times. Share your thoughts, memories and funny stories about his deceased loved one, and encourage him to do the same. More than anything, grieving people want to make sure their loved one is never forgotten. Telling stories is the perfect way to keep their loved one’s memory alive and burning brightly.


  1. Gently encourage him to join support group. It can be extremely therapeutic for grieving people to speak with others who are also dealing with a loss. In fact, research indicates that bereaved individuals who participate in support groups experience improved emotional, mental, and physical stability during and after participation.


  1. Pamper her! Invite her to a spa day complete with a massage, mani-pedi and facial, or take her to the salon for a new hairstyle. Even these simple gestures can offer a grieving person a great sense of comfort and hope for the future.


  1. Help him stay healthy. Invite him for a walk or bike ride or cook him healthy dishes. Grieving people often let their health fall by the wayside, but it’s extremely important for them to eat well and get proper exercise during this difficult time. It’s been proven that good nutrition and exercise are excellent mood-boosters.


  1. Give her time. It’s important not to rush people through the grieving process. Many people struggle for months or even years after the loss of a loved one. Although this may be frustrating or upsetting to you, let her grieve for as long as she needs—and make sure she knows you won’t judge her for it.


  1. Recognize and understand the stages of grief. Most grieving people will go through a number of phases, including a time of denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. Each individual is different, so they may skip or even repeat some stages. The more familiar you are with these stages, the better you’ll be able to support your friend.


  1. Ask him what he needs; don’t try to guess. Because each individual is different and follows a unique grieving process, it’s best to ask what you can do for him. If he responds with, “Nothing,” try not to get frustrated. Just make sure he knows you’re here for him if he ever does need anything.


  1. Offer unique ways to pay tribute to her loved one. Even after the funeral or memorial service is over, there are plenty of ways to continue to memorialize a loved one, such as planting a tree in his honor, writing letters to the deceased person, attending holiday memorial services or holding remembrance gatherings.


  1. Don’t take it personally. After a loss, people often experience strong feelings of anger, guilt, despair and fear, and they sometimes direct these emotions towards their friends and relatives. If your grieving friend lashes out at you, try to be patient and don’t judge him for his actions during this difficult time.


  1. Be willing to sit in silence. Sometimes, a grieving friend simply wants your presence, but they aren’t quite ready to talk. If this is what she needs, offer your support by sitting quietly with her.