Stranger

How To: Help a grieving friend


Thumb vmoto161118  117 of 162

About Rachel

Ys social influencer and roving reporter, avid foodie and devotee of the grape.


Your best friend has lost someone dear to them and you don't know what to do.

You don’t know what to say. What could you possibly say to the best friend you’ve laughed with, joked with and confided in for years? Your best friend has lost someone they love and you don’t know what to say.

It's the little things that count during times of grief.

It's the little things that count during times of grief. Picture: iStock

Don’t worry. No one knows what to say. Your friend doesn’t know what to say. The main thing is that you’re there for them when they need you. Just being there is the greatest gift. Most people feel a hell of a lot more sorry for themselves when they’re on their own, and having a trusted friend or partner close by can be the best comfort.

But apart from your presence, there are a few other things that you can keep in mind when trying to help your bereaved friend.

Stick to the present

Instead of reminiscing about the past, which may be painful, or commenting on an unknown future, it’s safer to stay present with your friend and work through what’s happening now.

Tell them that you love them, that you understand they’re hurting and that you’re there for them.

Lighten the load

This can be a touchy one. You want to do something to help but you’re not sure what. Clean the house perhaps?

Be careful here, as you never know what is now sentimental. That glass may be last glass your friend’s loved one drank out of, or they may become upset that you washed that jumper of theirs that smelled like them.

Featured YsEpicure products

Instead, help with jobs that aren’t permanent. Take the bins out, walk the dogs, bring over fresh coffee or some dinner. Most of all, ask first.

How to talk to someone who is grieving


Be the middle man or woman

I think we can all agree that concerned family and friends rallying to help can be both touching and overwhelming at times.

Play the middle man for your grieving friend by becoming a point of contact for relatives and friends who want to check in.

Find someone to support you

Supporting a grieving friend is challenging. During this time, it’s all about how your friend is doing and it’s likely that no one will ask you how you’re dealing.

Be strong. It’s a hard task but don’t take it out on your friend or walk away when you’ve had enough. Instead, find someone else that you can lean on while your friend is leaning on you.

It’s not an easy role helping a grieving friend. You'll most likely find yourself feeling frustrated, confused or angry at some point in the process.

But these key steps, plus remembering just to simply be there and acknowledging the grief, is all you can do.

Blogger campaign
| Your rating
No ratings yet


Related stories

I am defintely my father's son.

How's your father? – Part 1

Comment icon 16

In this compelling self-exploratory series, the author turns his focus from mother to father.

Philosophy Ageing Relationships
Expand
3 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

An independent life ended with a lonely death

Comment icon 16

I fear the same fate for my mother

Social Issues Ageing
Originally from abc.net.au
Expand
3 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

How to be more neighbourly to the elderly

Comment icon 16

How much does it take to be neighbourly to the elderly who live nearby?

Relationships Health Ageing
Originally from abc.net.au
Expand
4 days ago
(Love & Relationships)
What are the most important words in the English language? Picture: iStock .

The most important words in the English language

Comment icon 16

Listen up! These humble words could change your life.

Expand
7 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

How I met my mother: Part 4

Comment icon 16

Loyalty is a very important quality - and one I learned from my mother

Sport Politics Relationships Family
Expand
10 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

5 rituals to reconnect your relationship

Comment icon 16

A ritual of connection is a way of regularly turning towards your partner that can be counted on.

Love Relationships
Originally from huffingtonpost.com.au
Expand
10 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

Why longtime couples have intimacy issues

Comment icon 16

You know what they say about getting hitched...

Love Relationship
Originally from mademan.com
Expand
13 days ago
(Love & Relationships)
Clothing and being seen out in public was a symbol of status for my mother.

How I met my mother: Part 3

Comment icon 16

Caring what other people think of me is not a quality I like and one I will eradicate.

Relationships Family Philosophy
Expand
17 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

Six ways to reignite the spark in a long-term relationship

Comment icon 16

When your relationship is at the 'ever after' stage of the fairy tale, maintaining passion can seem impossible.

Love Relationship
Originally from abc.net.au
Expand
18 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

What it’s like to help raise your grandkids

Comment icon 16

Grandparents open up about being a babysitter in their retirement years.

Parenting Retirement
Originally from huffingtonpost.com
Expand
18 days ago
(Love & Relationships)

Featured YsEpicure products

Z5d8drm37bzhm33amvgm
Manget blogger
Have your say

Start blogging now. You can change the world.

Ewqejcuncgc4tma3sc1r
Abc logo small 1
News fix

24/7 ABC News Service

Watch
I0mgh6iciw8odg1id3rx
Manget advertise
Advertise with us

Promote your store on Ys.

Beat this!
Zpj1ciadnxihhogds0di
Foodbank logo 1
Weekly Poll

Stay up to date and get special offers first with our weekly YsPeople newsletter.

Join