Helping Friends or Family Through the Loss of a Loved One

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Losing a loved one is never easy. Whether that’s a pet, a friend, a family member or anyone else a person has had some sort of connection with. So, if a family member, friend or loved one experiences loss, you will need to step up to the plate to help them through the process. There are so many different things you can do to help someone during this difficult time – from emotional support to practical support. But often, it can feel difficult to know what’s the best thing to do. Here are a few suggestions that could prove useful for everyone involved.

Offer Your Sympathy

First and foremost, you need to offer your condolences and sympathy to someone who has experienced loss especially someone who has experienced losing a spouse. There are various ways to do this and only you will know the best, depending on the person and whether they need space or not. You can offer them a shoulder to cry on. You can call them. You can send a card or letter. You can send flowers. Even the smallest of gestures will make all the difference right now. What’s important is that you let the person know you’re there for them.

Offer Practical Help

If the grieving person has been given the responsibility of practical arrangements, such as funeral arrangement, they may need some help right now. Their mind may not be in the most logical place for decision making and they may begin to feel overwhelmed. Not only are they grieving, but they’ve been given a large responsibility that they’re relatively unprepared for too! So, help with the process if they’d like your support. Accompany them to meetings with funeral directors. Help them with Funeral order of service printing. Help distribute invites. This practical help will make all the difference, lifting a weight from their shoulders.

Be Patient

Grief isn’t always a straightforward process and different people grieve in different ways. Some will grieve immediately. Some will seem fine for months before letting their emotions out. Some will have breakdowns. Some will seem to manage their grief independently. Some will need help. What’s most important is that you’re patient with anyone who is dealing with loss. This is likely to be one of the hardest times in their life and you need to be there for them throughout the entire process. Sure, you may not enjoy seeing someone you care about in a low state or being extremely upset during a long period of time. But just place yourself in their shoes and imagine how difficult things are for them right now. Patience is a virtue when it comes to being supportive of those grieving.

These steps may sound simple. But they really can make all the difference to someone who’s going through a difficult time. Be patient. Be understanding. Be empathetic. Be sympathetic. They’ll really appreciate your efforts.

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Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

One Comment

  • Tracey Carr

    Well said Kate, I think a lot of us feel stuck and are unsure what to do when someone we know loses a loved one. I’m not sure but I think it’s because we are so conscious of not upsetting the person in question that often we don’t do enough (or definitely feel that we’re not doing enough). But yes just being there and making sure the person knows that is so important. I totally agree #globalblogging

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