Health and Happiness
My best friend has just lost her mum and is completely devastated. What can I do to help as she grieves?
Supporting someone through a bereavement can feel like a daunting prospect, but there are lots of ways you can offer comfort. Most importantly, the last thing you should do is avoid them. Any form of contact is essential for their recovery, even if all you do is say how sorry you are.
BE HANDS ON With so much to organise, try to offer practical ways you can help, such as bringing round a cooked dinner they can put in the oven, taking their kids to school, or offering to run errands. Gently ask if they would like you to go with them to make funeral arrangements and offer to accompany them on the day. TIME TO LISTEN Crucially, it’s important to listen to those who have suffered a loss. Don’t tell them you know how they feel - everyone is unique - or use clichés such as ‘time heals.’ Instead, encourage them to share memories and perhaps add your own. Let them know they can cry with you.
DON’T FORGET There’s no time scale for grieving, so it’s important to remember their pain. Make a note of important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries and drop them a thoughtful message on those days or pop round some flowers. If they are struggling, then suggest bereavement counselling.