As we grow older, we are inevitably confronted by our mortality on a more regular basis. Grief is an affliction that every human being must try to overcome and work through at some point in their lives. When it is a friend who has suffered a loss, it can be tricky to know how best to support them. It doesn’t matter whether your pal has lost a parent, a close friend or a beloved pet, the grief they feel will be raw, intense and seemingly never ending. As a friend, you want to be there for them and help them to work through their emotions. Check out these three ways to help a grief-stricken friend.
It sounds so simple but by merely being present and visible, you can help your friend no end. Feelings of extreme isolation are a common part of the grieving process. Your friend may withdraw and retreat from social situations. Because of the awkwardness that acquaintances may experience, they choose to retreat rather than remain present. Pick up the phone and call your friend every day, even if it’s just to touch base. You don’t have to chat about anything in particular, and you can let your friend lead the conversation. Pop over, cook them some food and make sure that they are taking care of themselves.
Keep inviting them to gatherings even though they may refuse to attend for a long time. Never retract any offers of support or become tired of the constant rejection. They need time to work through their feelings, but knowing that you are there can be a comfort.
Mark A Memory
Some people are keen to do something active to mark the life of an individual. If your friend is fidgety, lacking focus and struggling, consider suggesting the idea of some sort of tree planting ceremony, a bench or a statue to symbolize your friend’s loved one. Memorials are perfect ways to bring some sort of closure to a person’s life but also to create a space to remember them always. Knowing that this place is there means that your pal can always venture there if they need to feel close to that person or just want some time of quiet contemplation.
Offer Further Support
Sometimes grief can be all-consuming, and it can become difficult to see any sort of hope at all. Anxiety, depression and stress disorders can emanate from grief especially if a loved one died suddenly or in pain. Encourage your pal to sign up to some bereavement counseling. Opening up to a stranger can be a lot easier than chatting with a friend. The objectivity and distance provided by a counselor can be exactly what your friend is in need of. Be there to provide emotional and practical support but don’t be alarmed if they decide to take some time out for themselves.
Grief is one of life’s certainties. While we like to think of ourselves as resilient human beings, sometimes life can throw us curve balls that knock us for six. Follow this guide and help your friend in their time of need.
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