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IF YOU HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S LOST A LOVED ONE...

IF YOU HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S LOST A LOVED ONE ...

BE A GOOD LISTENER. Let her tell stories about her loved one, even if it's repetitive. You don't have to say anything to her--she just needs you to listen and understand.

LET YOUR FRIEND CRY, GET ANGRY, BE MOODY. Expressing her emotions is all part of the healing process.

AVOID CLICHES. Phrases like, "You'll feel better in time," or "At least he's not suffering anymore," diminish the importance of tier loss.

KNOW THAT THERE'S NO RIGHT WAY TO GRIEVE. Even if your friend's behavior is down-right bizarre, don't criticize. Just be patient.

LEND A HELPING HAND. Offer to help with homework or household chores. She'll appreciate anything you can do to lighten her load.

BE COMPASSIONATE. Remember that loss is a major life-changing experience, and you may have to give more time and energy to your friend than you ever have before. That can be trying but, by sharing this experience with her, you'll become closer than ever.

POSTED ON 3/4/2010 8:00:00 AM

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