Back to Strategies for Grieving and Q & A;
Ten Steps to Grieving the Loss of a Parent
How You Can Support a Grieving Friend
Writing a Letter to a Deceased Loved One
Educate yourself about what your grieving friend is going through. Read books on grief, listen to tapes, talk with others who have grieved. You can expect your grieving friend to be emotional, raw, restless, unpredictable. Don't expect him or her to be back to normal soon. Sometimes your friend may want to be with you and sometimes he or she may want to be alone. Sometimes he or she may want to talk and sometimes to be silent together.
It is important to acknowledge the death that has occurred and the impact this has had on your friend. Express interest in your friend's feelings and concerns. Remember that you don't have to make your friend feel better. If your friend cries, be as supportive as you can. If your friend needs to talk, listen. Be trustworthy with confidences. Avoid giving lots of advice; you may feel impelled to do this because you feel helpless in the face of your friend's pain.
Help in small ways-- you can bring your friend meals, flowers, offer to do errands, send cards or check in by phone.
Be willing to admit your helplessness in the situation. Be honest if you feel overwhelmed or frightened by the intensity of your friend's feelings. You may need to pull back for awhile; let your friend know that you are doing this.
Try not to take rejection personally. Many people who are grieving don't have the energy to be considerate or nice.
Your friendship will probably change as your friend is grieving. Some friendships deepen but some drift apart. Grieve the loss of the old friendship and be open to changes.