Grief is a natural and normal response to loss. Grief occurs when we experience a significant loss, such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or a move to a new home. There is no right way to grief and every person experiences it differently: sadness, anger, guilt, physical ailments, and even a sense of relief can be a part of a grieving process.
It is important to give yourself the time and space to process your grief in whatever way is most meaningful to you. And once you know your friend is grieving – you should save them from getting stuck in unresolved grief for a long period of time. How to do this without hurting your close friend even more? Read this article and learn more.
Here are a few valuable lessons you should learn to help your grieving friend properly:
1. Offer support.
Many people feel helpless in situations like this, and it can help to offer practical support. A lot of people are scared to reach out to their grieving friends, as nobody knows the right way to do this, truly. But, in this situation, you can never go wrong by reaching out. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help, like running errands or providing meals for them.
It can be difficult to know what to say in a situation like this, so simply listening to your friend and letting them express their feelings without judgment can be one of the best things you can do. Yes, you can feel uncomfortable at times. Yes, the topics will be heavy. But the amount of relief this will give to your friend is well worth it. You do not need to provide answers or know how to fix their struggle to be helpful.
3. Be Prepared for Their Strong Reactions
Sometimes your grieving friend may give you the reactions that you don’t expect – anger, yelling, punching and breaking the objects other disturbing things you didn’t expect at first. Coping with a loss is difficult, and some people lose it trying to process what happened to them. If you’ve ever experienced grief, you might know exactly how it feels.
Be aware of risky behavior like excessive drinking or uncontrolled spending. If anything like this happens, try your best to be patient and supportive. Show your genuine concern, but acknowledge that it happens because of the struggle.
4. Stay in touch.
Grief can be a long process, and it’s important to stay in touch with your friend. Don’t be afraid to reach out, even if it’s been a while since you’ve talked. Don’t feel that you’re being too intrusive, as making sure your friend is ok is very important in times like this. Even if your grieving friend said they wanted to be alone and so that nobody bothered them. Initial reaction of many people who struggle in situations like this is pushing away everyone. As much as taking your alone time to grief is important, it can also be dangerous. So keep in touch with your friend in need, making sure they’re doing ok.
5. Help them find support.
If your friend is struggling with their grief, help them find professional support. Offer to accompany them to counseling, or suggest support groups or online resources that might be helpful. Offering to connect them with others in grief might be a great idea. Social media has made it easier to find people with same issues and struggles all over the world. Help them look up forums, or blogs with people who are sharing their grieving process with others.
A good example of a platform like this where people live through their loss or grief is the Dinner Party.
You can find many other similar groups that will help your friend get to a better place mentally.
We all have our own ways of grieving, and it’s important to be supportive of our friends in their time of loss. Although there are no set rules for how to cope with grief, understanding and compassion go a long way in helping your friends through their difficult times. By being present and lending an ear, you can be a source of strength and comfort to those going through a hard time.