How to Help

Grieving is difficult work. The following are some suggestions for helping someone you care about navigate the journey through grief.

  • Listen.
  • Understand the stages of grief.
  • Give the person time. Don’t try to rush them into “getting over” their feelings.
  • Remember that the time of grief is a time of instability. Encourage the person to postpone making major life decisions.
  • Encourage the grieving person to avoid the temptation to use alcohol or drugs to numb the painful feelings.
  • Tears are healthy expressions of grief. Let the person cry. Don’t try to make them hold back the tears for the sake of others.
  • Know that there will be good days and bad days. Pangs of intense grief can surface during holidays or other significant events such as birthdays or anniversaries.
  • Allow the person to remember and talk about the loved one as much as they need to. Look at photographs with them, read old letters and let them retell their memories to you and other friends and family members.