How can I help my grieving friend?
Bless your heart for caring. You can help your grieving friend by listening and offering them a safe place to just be with their grief-that means not judging them, not trying to fix them, not rushing their process-simply allowing them to have their grief space. Whether that means talking, reminiscing, releasing emotions, tears, fears, guilts, doubts, or more. It’s difficult to do because as a society we are more solution oriented…we tend to want to fix and change things. But grief is a personal experience and no two people will ever it the same.
Be present for your friend. Offer them your time, your love, your support. The hardest space of grief is in the weeks and months after the immediate shock of loss has passed, when everyone else has ‘gone on with their lives’ and you feel left behind. Send notes, leave them phone messages, drop by for a cup of tea and offer your presence. Ask them if they feel like talking. Tell them what you miss about the loved one they have lost. Share some memories. As we head into the holidays…be gracious as you extend invitations to those who are grieving, so that they can come for dessert, or just for appetizers, or for the whole day if they choose. Leave them options and remain flexible because grieving is a moment to moment thing. Suspend your expectations and timetables. Remember this example: grief is like the stocks in the stock markets-some areas are up and flourishing while others are struggling and it is all happening simultaneously.
One last thing, pray for your friend. Pray for their comfort and healing. All of these things will help bring them validation, comfort and peace.