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How do you console a friend who's just lost a loved one?

by Xarah (follow)
Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Love (84)      Friendship (19)      Loss (2)      Sympathy (1)     


This is a rather odd question, but I have come across people who struggle with providing affection and support to other people sometimes. It's almost like they turn into stone - possibly so that it doesn't make them break down.

How do you provide that support and compassion to someone who has recently lost a loved one?

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Just being there for support helps. Instead of saying something stupid I feel people should rather remain silent.
A difficult one to swallow. Just be there for them, and allow them some space to be - a shoulder to lean on.
Indeed a tough time. It's something I dread going through, but it's one of those life experiences that only makes you stronger.
by Xarah
I consoled a dear friend who'd lost her father a few years back, and learnt that with grief, that I had to be led by them as to what they wanted. Being there, and reminding that person that you are there for them is essential. However, dependant on the friend there might be practical things they'll ask you to help with. I think it's key to observe how they are doing, so that you know if they are having a difficult day and thus might need extra support. Hugs, a kind ear, and just being there seemed the most important support I could provide. For some friends though, I know that they would want space to deal with a loss. Grief is a personal journey, so I would judge the situation and try to just be the best support and friend I could be; even if this meant staying out of the way.
I do this in my ministry, so I have had some experience.It comes down to a few Rules.
Yes rules!

Gone are the days when we stand next to someone and pat them on the arm, and say ''there-there' you will be fine......Don't cry.
Can you believe people did that, years ago....and in some cases still today.

1. Never tell that person to not cry, and if they do (even in say a shopping centre or wherever) you let them cry.You stand close to them, and do not say anything but, ''I'm here for you''.......That's it.

2.You never ever compair a Loss you may have had, to theirs...no matter how much you want to, or think it is o.k....it is Not.
Every human being will suffer grief, but we must never tell them we had it worse, or compair.

3.Never say you know how they feel.That's a huge no-no.

4.Just be there for them, let them do 90% of the talking, crying, anger and any other emotion...that person is having.

Grief is one of the most personal moments a person can go through.
It is not open to talking-comparing-sharing.
Anyone wishing to help that person through this awful time, needs to just
be there, and keep quite, hold their hand, make cups of tea..and most important make sure they are hydrated, and eating something.

Mainly sweet things are better, as they have sugar, and people loose weight , when they have lost someone.Water is also important, so buy them a nice water bottle and tell them, you want them to empty it twice a day.

They will feel you care, with that one thing.....also if a female, try and buy some nice lace hankies for her, this allows her to have the permission.....to cry.
Take some soft biscuits, and if it is someone close, try to get bit more time to spend with them.
People often just support once or twice, then because of self preservation they wish to 'get-on' with their lives.It is too painful.....it's not that they do not care.
It is too confronting, and they don't want too.
Also try to get them to eat some solid food, this can be quite difficult, as shock often comes into play.Even if they knew that person was dying or ill.

Buy a little fresh fruit for them( male or female), its a nice touch.
Just remember the golden rules above, and you will do well.
We can only hope that kind of person is there for us....when the time comes, and we are in this awful time..... life brings.


That is a hard one, because you never know exactly what they are going through. However, just being there for them is always a good start. It takes years to get over a loved one, and generally the first 3 months is the hardest. The next months after that is when it is the hardest because you come to realization that they are gone and then all those that were around you are no longer there! Hope that helps!
That is a hard one, because you never know exactly what they are going through. However, just being there for them is always a good start. It takes years to get over a loved one, and generally the first 3 months is the hardest. The next months after that is when it is the hardest because you come to realization that they are gone and then all those that were around you are no longer there! Hope that helps!
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