How to Help Someone Grieving

By Kirk Brechbiel

As a friend or relative, there is nothing more difficult than watching those we love endure pain—especially the pain that comes from the loss of a loved one.

Our society is largely untrained in how to help those who are grieving, and you may be unsure of the best way to provide support for your loved ones during a very difficult time. The following guidelines can assist you as you provide a helping hand:

  • Don’t try to find the magic words or formula to eliminate the pain.
  • Don’t try to minimize or make the person feel better.
  • Help with responsibilities.
  • Don’t expect the person to reach out to you.
  • Talk through decisions.
  • Don’t be afraid to say the name of the deceased.
  • Remember that time does not heal all wounds.
  • Remind the bereaved to take care of themselves.
  • Avoid judging.
  • Share a meal.
  • Make a list with the bereaved of everything that needs to be done.
  • Make a personal commitment to help the one grieving get through this.

After a death, many friendships and relationships change or disintegrate. People do not know how to relate to the one who is grieving or they get tired of being around someone who is sad. Vow to see your friend or loved one through this, to be an anchor in this difficult time.