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Top 5 Ways to Help Someone Grieve

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Posted on April 1, 2022
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Losing a loved one is the most difficult thing a person can experience. Trying to help and communicate with grieving family members and close friends of the deceased can present its own set of challenges. It is common to feel awkward when trying to comfort someone who is grieving. Many people do not know what to say or do. 

The following are suggestions to use as a guide when helping someone process grief:

1. Allow the grieving person to speak freely, and without judgment, about their emotions. 

Unless specifically asked, do not talk about yourself. This is their time to talk about their grief.

2. Show, rather than tell, that you are there to help. Some ideas include:

  • Bringing their favorite meal to eat
  • Offering to help with childcare or petcare 
  • Helping them fill out paperwork 
  • Assisting with responding to their emails, phone calls, and text messages
  • Throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine
  • Sharing an enjoyable activity (game, puzzle, art project).

3. Don’t assume you know how the bereaved person feels on any given day. 

Grief can be described as a black ball that bumps into the walls of a small room. On some days, the ball is massive, bumps into the edges of the room, and causes pain. Other times, the ball is not as noticeable, but never goes away. 

4. Encourage them to take care of themselves in the most basic ways possible.

Because grief can be so overwhelming, getting out of bed, eating, drinking, and bathing can feel impossible. Laying out their toothbrush and toothpaste, drawing a bath, and making a meal can go a long way. 

5. Make sure their physical health does not deteriorate on top of this difficult emotional time.

For example, make sure that someone with diabetes has enough insulin available so that they do not experience a diabetic emergency. Offer to pick up their prescriptions or call their provider for refills. 


Thank you to My Caring Plan for providing inspiration from their blog for some of the content featured in this blog post. 


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