It can be difficult to know exactly how to support a friend who is grieving the loss of a loved one, but the fact that we can’t wrap our friends in a big hug right now makes supporting each other even more difficult. But there are a few things to keep in mind that can help you support a friend who is going through a hard time after losing someone close to them.
Don’t try to immediately make things better
Grief is hard, and when someone is going through that there’s, unfortunately, no way to make things better for them immediately. Of course, you can help them, but you can’t make the feelings go away. It’s okay to let them know you’re here for them, and recognise what they’re going through, but try to steer away from saying things like ‘everything happens for a reason’. While your heart may be in the right place, that’s probably not what they want or need to hear right now.
Be there for them as much as you can
While you can’t spend time with them like before, you can still let them know that you’re there for them when they want to talk. Even if they don’t feel like talking right now, drop them a text to let them know that you’re thinking of them, and that you’re there when they do want to talk. Even if they just want to take their mind off things and talk about the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Understand that grief lasts as long as it lasts
There’s no timeline when it comes to grief, because it’s simply different for everyone. There will be easier times, whether that be in minutes or days, but there will also be tougher times, again, which could last minutes or days. Don’t expect everything to go back to normal after a certain time has passed.
Remember the important dates
The ‘year of firsts’ is always difficult, and even after a certain period of time, certain days will always be difficult. Check in on your friend on their loved one’s birthday, their anniversary, even on their birthday, and any other days that may be significant to them. These special days will always be tough, and may even become bitter-sweet to them in time.
Don’t take anything personally
This one is more for you, rather than your friend, but remember to not take anything they may say or do personally right now. People can grieve in different ways, and some of these ways can be through anger, anxiety, among others. So if they do happen to say or do something that upsets you, remember to not take it personally and to be understanding about the situation that they’re in.
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