HOW TO HELP A GRIEVING FRIEND OR RELATIVE
(Rivendell Resources) Obviously you can get much information by directly
going to the sites on death and grieving, but I put this here since it I
believe it is an area you should be aware of before any dies. It
certainly would have been beneficial to me when I was helping clients after
the death of a loved one.
Don't worry what to say. Just being there shows you care. Don't feel that
you have to have the answers. Just be a good listener.
Talk about the deceased- anything you know about them, such as what they
said or did. It helps the the grieving persons to keep them closer
Call often, especially after the first couple months. Their energy level
may be too low for them to make the effort even though they may need to talk.
Send cards even weeks after the funeral. They are always helpful and there
is a disappointment when they finally stop coming.
Do visit in the home after the funeral service is over, but stay just a short
while. Grievers need some privacy
If you want to do something with or for the bereaved, give him or her an
option. Some days they just can't cope with "something to do".
Don't avoid the person when you see them the first time after the funeral.
Go up to them first.
Try not to look startled when the bereaved mentions the deceased. Let them
talk about the deceased as much as they would like to.
Don't try to get the mind of the griever off of the loved one. That is impossible
for a long time if the relationship was close. Remember, the hardest thing
for the bereaved is to see life going on.
Don't make small talk. Talk about what is most important in the griever's
Don't be uneasy if you cry and the bereaved does not. A person can only cry
so much. The hurt is still there.
Don't talk about what the deceased might have been spared by death. Those
thoughts bring no comfort.
Don't remind the person of what they have left, such as the children. At
the time, all the bereaved can think of is what they have lost and the feeling
that there is no future. The deeply grieved does not want to think about
Things you could do to be helpful. Grocery shop, 2. Go to the library, 3.
Harvest garden, 4. Mow lawn, 5. Prepare hot meal, 6. Babysit, 7. Clean house.
If they have children, invite them to spend time with your children. If the
children have lost their father, it would be wonderful if another man would
spend some time with them also. He could include them occasionally when he
does something with his own kids.
Don't assume that the deeply bereaved is "over it" in just a few weeks or even months because they are getting on with their routine. Grief takes much longer than expected- particularly for women- and people can pretend to be doing much better than they really are doing. Share you love, your time and most importantly, your prayers.