YspeopleExplore tab



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.

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.

Banner 1
| Your rating
No ratings yet

Related stories

My bees are busy creating beautiful honey.

Life lessons from the farm

It was at my rural retreat, far from the madding crowd, that I had an epiphany of sorts!

Community Philosophy Relationships
14 days ago
(Love & Relationships)
Marriage isn't always a fairytale (Image: Shutterstock).

The midlife marriage fairytale

Do we expect too much from our partners after decades of marriage?

Relationships Marriage Love
19 days ago
(Love & Relationships)
A Christmas indulgence!.

7 tips for transforming your next Christmas

So, just how stressed did you get this Christmas? Have you resolved to do it differently next time? If so, read on.

Planning Holidays Christmas
27 days ago
(Love & Relationships)
What is the choice you will make? .

Are you motivated by love or fear?

As individuals, we may have exhibited patterns of behaviour that reflect an underlying feeling of love or fear.

Science Mental Health Psychology Social Issues
About 1 month ago
(Love & Relationships)
The mistress is in control.

The mistress is in total control

In part five of this series on alternative ''power exchange'' relationships, we learn more about Patricia (a true...

Sex Relationships
About 1 month ago
(Love & Relationships)

Finding my own voice, at last

After a lifetime of fitting into other people's expectations, it's finally my time to speak up and have my own voice - and...

Relationships Community Ageing
About 1 month ago
(Love & Relationships)
French bulldogs are flat-faced and unable to properly breathe.

How we are loving some dogs to death


If you truly love dogs, you must watch this video. Then share it with your friends.

Health Kindness Pets
About 1 month ago
(Love & Relationships)
It pays to recognise what you can and can't control.

Secure happiness by giving up control

In my quest for happiness, here's what I've learnt about control.

Community Relationships Kindness
About 2 months ago
(Love & Relationships)
Lady Patricia is quick to punish her property, Bill.

A stinging cane on the male behind

In part four of a series on alternative ''power exchange'' relationships, we turn our focus to Patricia and Bill.

Sex Relationships
About 2 months ago
(Love & Relationships)
Putting a Smile Back on my Face.

Are you up for the no-complaining challenge?

I gave myself a challenge - 30 days without complaining. I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

Kindness Social Issues Business Relationships
About 2 months ago
(Love & Relationships)
Trending stories
National Broadband Network.

How Turnbull sacrificed the NBN

The NBN is a lemon. Here's...

(Money & Business) About 16 hours ago
Top Indonesian chef Chandra Yudasswara will be cooking up a secret storm for Taste Great Southern.

Celebrity chef set for a Secret Affair in Great Southern

Take one of Indonesia's top...

(Epicure) 4 days ago
The moment an unidentified man is knocked out cold from behind, right outside our office on William St.

WA Govt, City of Perth ignore inner-city piggery

A coward-punch attack and a...

(Ys Comment) 4 days ago
Weekly Poll
Haiku of the week
Memory lane