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Grief: Supporting Someone Who is Grieving

Nothing is harder than seeing someone you love or care about dealing with grief. You can often feel helpless or even scared. Here are somethings you can do to help someone navigate grief.

This post was written as part of a collection by LifeSource Family Support Coordinator and Licensed Counselor, Nicole Vande Weerd to help others navigate the aspects of grief and loss.

Woman in floral print shawl smiles at camera

Take Something Off Their Plate

When someone dies there are often many plans and calls to make. Offer to take on some of those tasks. Making meals, running errands, taking kids to activities or school, and coordinating with the funeral home are all helpful. Anything that lessens their load is a help!

Give Them a Space to Share Emotions

Grief can bring up many emotions: anger, sadness, frustration, the list goes on and it’s different for everyone. In my experience, I’ve seen how difficult it can be for people to try to deal with all these emotions and often people try to push them away. Giving someone a safe place to share these feelings can be incredibly helpful and help them sort through all the things they’re feeling.

Ask Them to Share Stories

It’s a beautiful gift to learn about someone through the eyes of those who loved them best, its humbling to hear the impact a person can have on another person’s life. One of the greatest gifts of my work is hearing families tell stories about their loved one.

People often avoid bringing up those who have recently passed for fear of upsetting those who are grieving, I have found the opposite to be true.  I might ask how they met their loved one, if they have a favorite memory or what they were like. My experience has been that when families feel free to talk about their loved one and share stories, they’re able to smile or even laugh.

Don’t Disappear

Although the first few weeks of grief seem to be the worst, that is often when people have the most support. What about after that? Grief comes in waves – sometimes it is powerful and takes you over and other times it’s manageable. Be the friend that is around for both, continue to show up and be there. Even if you don’t know what to say – being there is enough.

I hope this gives you a place to start in supporting someone who is grieving.

More About Navigating Grief

What is Grief?

Tips for Coping with Grief.

Grief: Helping Children Navigate Death and Loss – by Nicole Vande Weerd