How to Support Someone Grieving

Be Understanding

First and foremost, it’s important to be understanding of the person experiencing loss. Grief is a powerful emotion and is not to be taken lightly. Everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way to do it. This is something that is important to understand and be aware of as someone is working through the grieving process. Judging somebody on how they are grieving and telling them how they should be grieving is not helpful and will not provide them with the support they are looking for. 

Another aspect of being understanding is knowing that there isn’t a set time limit on grieving. Some people can work through their grief in two years or so, others may take much longer. At the end of the day, though, it’s not your place to tell someone how long they can grieve. Whether it’s the day of the funeral services or two years later, it’s still important to be there for your loved one and be understanding. 

Limit Positivity

While this may sound a little counter-intuitive, bear with us. While we agree that always seeing the bright side and staying positive can be a good thing in the right context, that’s not always the support someone who is grieving needs. During this process, it’s okay to feel sad and not have a silver lining. The loss of someone you love is devastating, so it’s not always helpful to tell someone “you still have so much to be thankful for” or “look at the bright side.” It’s perfectly okay and healthy to acknowledge that the situation really sucks. Life is full of good and bad, and it’s important to openly talk about both. This leads us to our next tip.

Listen

Be a good listener when supporting someone who is grieving. It may be tempting to try and “fix it” or give advice. But sometimes all someone who is grieving needs is someone to sit and hear them out. Letting them talk it out, whether it be publicly during the funeral services or privately one-on-one, the process of saying what you need to say uninterrupted can be incredibly therapeutic and helpful. For some people grieving, the opposite can also be true. Sometimes people don’t want to say anything at all, and in that case, the best thing you can do is sit in silence and be there for them.

It’s also worth noting that while some topics may be uncomfortable to talk about, it’s important that you let the person grieving from the loss of a loved one talk about whatever they need to. It’s never fun to talk about how someone died or powerful sad feelings, but it is important to allow them to talk about whatever they need to in order to process overwhelming feelings. 

Practice Sensitivity

The next tip our Fort Collins funeral services has to offer is to practice sensitivity. There is a time and place for tough love — supporting someone who is grieving is never that time or place. No matter how long it’s been, it’s not helpful to say insensitive things like “That happened forever ago”, “Move on”, or “You need to get past this.” Statements like these can minimize the person’s feelings and make them feel shameful of their grieving process.  

Offer Specific Help

We’re all guilty of saying things like “let me know if you need any help!” This in and of itself is not a bad thing. But when you are trying to support someone who is grieving, more specific help can be useful. Things like offering to drive them to and from the funeral services, offering to go grocery shopping for them, asking if they’d like you to cook them a meal, offering to watch their children, going for a walk, or any number of specific offers can go a very long way. 

Ongoing Support

Unfortunately, grieving doesn’t end after the funeral services are over. This means that your support shouldn’t end there either. It’s important that if you are going to support your friend or family member during their loss that you offer long-term support. Continue checking up on them, offering specific help, and listening to them if need be no matter how long it is after their loss. 

Bohlender Funeral Chapel in Fort Collins

We hope that you found today’s blog useful in helping to support your friend or family member through grief. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Bohlender Funeral Chapel in Fort Collins for help or with any questions.