Tough Stuff

How to help your friend after she experiences loss

When someone passes away, you may feel like you have to act a certain way. When that person is someone who was close to your friend, like a parent, a grandparent or even a family friend, the situation becomes more challenging. You want to be there for your friend, but you aren't quite sure how to do that. Well, here are some ways that you can comfort your friend during this difficult time.

Support her, but also give her space
The "support her” part might seem obvious, but it’s also important that you give her and her family time to grieve in their own way. Ask her how she is feeling, and let her bring it up. Don’t force her to talk about it. 

Offer to spend time with her
Being there for her does not necessarily mean you should physically be with her at all times, so before you go over to her house, ask. If she is willing to go to the mall or the movies in order to get out of the house, go with her. The key is not to pressure her to do any of these things. 

Take care of yourself
If you knew this person, you could also be feeling depressed, angry or frustrated, and it’s OK to be emotional around her. You don’t need to “be strong” or pretend you aren’t affected by this in order to comfort her. In fact, she might feel better knowing that she is not alone because it helps to validate her feelings.

Continue to reach out to her
After the funeral, it’s easy for her other friends to forget about this tremendous loss because it may not affect them personally. This can be distressing and isolating for her, so make sure to touch base with her every now and then. You don’t have to be too specific. A simple “how are you doing text” every so often means a lot.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with this difficult situation? Let us know in the comments below.


by Frannie Rooney | 8/10/2017
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