Having the love and support of friends and family through a period of grief is very important. Grief can be incredibly overwhelming and isolating, but there are many simple ways you can show compassion and care to your friends through their time of need.

Do:

  • Check in regularly – even if it’s just a quick phone call or message, try your best to keep in touch regularly with them.
  • Understand how they grieve – everyone’s grieving process can show differently, so it’s important to understand how your friend navigates their personal grief.
  • Let them cry – Crying may not be part of the grieving process for everyone, but if it is for your friend, letting them do so can be incredibly healing.
  • Ask questions – don’t be afraid to say the wrong thing. Check in on your friends mental health and self care, and offer a helping hand if you feel they need it.
  • Remember important dates – certain dates like birthdays or anniversaries can be triggering for people dealing with grief. Keep these dates in mind and be sure to reach out to your friend on these days to see how they’re going.

Don’t:

 

  • Be afraid to talk about the deceased person – there’s a common misconception that discussing a deceased loved one will further upset someone that is grieving. Talking about their lost loved one can actually help the healing process.
  • Try to ‘fix’ them – Grieving friends need only your love, support and presence – grief is not something to be fixed, but something that will heal over time.
  • Diminish their grief – phrases like “you’ll be fine soon” can unintentionally diminish someone’s grief, leading to frustration from the grieving person.
  • Push your faith – while your religious or spiritual beliefs may have helped you when you were grieving, resist the urge to discuss faith with your friend unless they ask.
  • Use platitudes – phrases such as “they wouldn’t have wanted you to be so upset”, that imply you know how the deceased person is feeling, can minimise the feelings of your grieving friend.