When your friend has experienced the loss of a family member or friend, the pain they will be going through is sure to be significant. In times like this, you might be wondering what you can do as a good friend. You might have a lot of questions running through your head. You might also worry for the wellbeing of your friend. You might not know what is the right thing to say, for you fear causing more distress to your friend should you choose the wrong words.
Fret no more! With your best intentions, all you need is just some simple guidance for you to be the pillar of support your grieving friend needs. After a death, most people assume that they should give their friend space. This is not completely wrong, however, as people would distance themselves because they have no clue what they should say.
First things first, you must realise that they are in no position or capacity to be able to make your grieving friend’s pain disappear. Grief is an inevitable process that one will have to confront. The truth is, there is no correct answer or magic word to make life happy and fine again, as if nothing happened. Once you accept that reality, you can take the first step in being a sensitive and supportive friend.
Everyone deals with the reality of death and losing a significant person differently. As a result, there is no possible way of approaching this. There is no manual or rules set in stone that you can use or rely on when helping your grieving friend. However, what you can do is to apply the advice and suggestions that are offered to your best judgement. After all, you are the one who knows your friend best!
When talking to your grieving friend, you can share stories and memories about the deceased. If you do not know the deceased that well, you can get your friend to share their memories of the person with you. Not only does this help your friend celebrate the positive memories and good times spent with the deceased, but it also works as a cathartic form of release just by talking about them.
Sometimes it is easier to distance yourself from your friend and give them space. However, leaving them for too long is not a good idea. Offering help and asking what your friend might need is a constructive approach to open them up. Support is all about communication. Sometimes they might reply with “nothing”, but you should not let that stop you. Even helping with mundane tasks goes a long way. By constantly proving that you can provide help, your friend will know that they have someone that they can rely on.
Another way you can help by seeking professional help. You can direct your friend to professionals and resources. Even if your friend is not receptive, at least you have passed along information to them that they can use for future references.