1.Offer specific help & follow through
Do something helpful. Be of service. Doing practical things such as laundry, picking up groceries or washing the dishes for your friend is often what makes a difference.
2. Send a thoughtful card in the mail
There are no expiration dates for sending cards in the mail. Often it comes as a small blessing to receive it later because your friend is still grieving and everyone else has moved on. Make it loving and personal while avoiding useless clichés.
3. Bring them food
Your friend needs nourishment. Let her know that you are dropping food at her door and continue to do it for as long as you are able, after other people have moved on.
4. Remember important dates
Take note of those dates that your friend will never forget: anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, and pick up the phone or send a message to let them know you are thinking of them.
5. Speak the deceased person’s name
It is a blessing when a friend refers to a deceased loved one because we keep that person’s memory alive in recollections of their time with us. Your friend has not forgotten them, show him that you haven’t either and say that person’s name.
6. Let them talk. Listen
Bear witness, and allow your friend to be upset, angry, or to say nothing at all. Offer your compassion and presence, not a solution. There is no solution.
7. Be mindful
Sometimes people want to help but they don’t know what to say. Grief is messy. Be sensitive. What would you want to talk about in similar circumstances? What topic might be difficult for your friend to discuss right now? Watch your friend for cues. Pay attention to their body language. Or just ask.
8. Be patient
People often need to sit in the darkness for a while. Be a kind friend and sit with them.
9. Recall memories
If you have a memory of the deceased person, share it with your friend. It helps to recall moments of joy or hilarity. To a grieving person it is a gift.
10. Make introductions
When the time is right suggest some online support groups to your friend, or give him the name of a highly regarded local therapist. If you know someone in similar circumstances introduce them. It can be of great support to a grieving individual to meet new people or other families with similar experiences.
11. Continue to show up
After everyone else is gone be there for your friend. She is still grieving.
You can do this & together we will make the world a more loving, open, caring place! Hugs,
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