How to Support a Grieving Person
You may want to ask family and friends to read this section.
Understanding their grief
• Be aware that grief is like an emotional rollercoaster there will be highs, lows and setbacks and everybody deals with grief differently.
• Grieving involves extreme emotions and behaviours. The bereaved needs reassurance that what they are feeling is normal.
• The bereaved needs to feel free to express their feelings without judgement.
• It’s alright to sit in silence with the bereaved; sometimes they do not want to talk they just need a comforting presence.
• Don’t avoid talking about the deceased person, it’s important to the bereaved that their loss is acknowledged and their loved one is not forgotten.
• There is no time frame to grieving, so don’t pressure the bereaved person to move on.
• Do not compare their grief to that of a divorced person or to one that has lost an elderly parent or any other type of grief.
• Don’t assume if they were together a short time like 10 years, their grief is much less that a couple who were together for say thirty years. We beg to differ; it is the depth of your love, not the length of time.
• Drop off a casserole or other type of food.
• Offer to stay in their home to take phone calls and receive guests.
• Assist with forms and bills.
• Offer to watch their children, pick up from school, sports, etc.
• Offer to take their children shopping to buy a gift for their parent on significant occasions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays and Christmas.
• Offer to drive them wherever they need to go in the first weeks.
• Look after their pets.
• Go to support group meetings with them.
• Accompany them on walks.
• Ask them to join you on activities.
• Remember them at milestones (birthdays, anniversaries..) A card, text or call to acknowledge is often greatly valued.