Supporting Your Friend

People truly want to help a friend or family member who is experiencing a severe loss. Words often fail us at times like these, leaving us stammering for the right thing to say.

What you can do is be there for your friend. You wouldn’t need to say anything to him/her. Just your presence is good enough, do not try to fix the unfixable. This part is hard since you don’t want to see you loved one hurting, but saying things might hurt them more.

Reassure that you are there for him/her. When you see him/her crying, hugging and saying words to affirm your relationship is the thing to do.

Anticipate the needs of your friend. Bring him/her food, do chores, etc, (But ask first). The actual, heavy, real work of grieving is not something you can do, but you can lessen the burden of “normal” life requirements for your friend.

Help with tending with stuff of the deceased. Depending on the circumstance, there may be difficult tasks that need tending — things like mortuary visits, the packing and sorting of rooms or houses. Offer your assistance and follow through with your offers.

Above all, show your love. Show up. Say something. Do something. Be willing to stand beside the gaping hole that has opened in your friend’s life, without flinching or turning away. Be willing to not have any answers. Listen. Be there. Be present. Be a friend. Be love. Love is the thing that lasts.

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