What You Can Say to a Grieving Friend Coping with Severe Loss

Support Group DiscussionIf you haven’t lost a loved one, you may not be aware of how much pain the ones left behind feel. Often, even friends and relatives do not know what to say or do to comfort a grieving person.

In this case, Hospice of the Calumet Area says that grief support services can help. There are also things that you can say to help your grieving friend. These include:

Allow Your Friend to Grieve

As a friend, your role is only to provide support and not be the center of attention. Grief is personal, and it belongs to the person who suffered a severe loss. Thus, you have to follow their lead. Listen if they need someone to confide with. Offer a shoulder to cry on when they need it.

Stick to the Present and Speak of the Truth

It is not proper to talk about the past or future when your friend’s present is full of pain and anguish. Saying tomorrow will be better or that the past was good for your friend won’t help. It cannot compensate for the suffering that your friend is experiencing now. Stick to the present, even if it is full of sorrow. It is much better to say things like “This hurts, I am here for you, and I love you.”

Don’t Ask, Identify What Your Friend Needs

Don’t tell your friend to call you when they need anything. Chances are, they won’t call. You have to understand that in their current state, your friend is not in a good position to identify their needs, and who can help fill those needs. You can instead offer to drop by each morning to take the dog out for a walk. You can also offer to cook dinner tomorrow night, and keep them company. But, you have to make sure to do everything you say you will.

There is no way you can take your friend’s pain away. What you can do is to be there for them, and show your love. You may not have any answers at all. But you can show up to listen and be a friend.