Helping a Friend Who is Grieving
Access to grief resources is one of the cremation services provided in Phoenix, AZ. After friends have lost a loved one, they begin a grieving process over the void created in their lives that will be with them in some shape or form for the rest of their lives. We naturally want to be there for our friends, even in the intense emotional moments, to help them. However, there are some things we shouldn’t do and things we should do when our friends are grieving.
Don’t set time limits on grief. Grieving is unique to each person. No one grieves in the exact the same way or about the same kinds of things when they lose a loved one. Don’t ever say to your friend that, “It’s time to move on” or, “You need to just get past it.” This is very hurtful because it minimizes what your friend is experiencing, and it can generate feelings of guilt and anger. It may be so hurtful that the relationship between the two of you becomes distanced or is severed entirely.
Don’t tag your friend in photos of their deceased loved one online. Seeing pictures of a loved one who has died, especially if the picture shows the loved one in good health and engaged in a fun activity, can intensity the feelings of loss and grief for your friend.
Be aware of timing when you’re with your friend. Sometimes it may be appropriate to say things, while other times it may not be. Get comfortable with silence, because sometimes all your friend will need is for you just to be there in person. If you’re in doubt about whether you should say anything or not, err on the side of caution and keep quiet. Hold your friend’s hand or put your arm around their shoulder to comfort them.
Don’t try to find something positive about a prolonged terminal illness or death. While there are positive moments between caregivers and their loved one or among the immediate family, anyone outside the immediate situation will like offend the caregiver and the family by trying to see the sunny side of something that is often anything but.
Don’t actively avoid a friend who is experiencing grief. We can all feel somewhat uncomfortable with the intensity of emotions that come with grief and the unique manifestation of grief in each person who is experiencing it, but this is a time when a friend needs you. Even in grief, your friend can read body language, and seeing you pull back or walk away suddenly feels like a rejection, which can further intensify grief and cause a lot of hurt and pain..
Do reach out to your friend as soon as you’re able. There is sometimes the fear that contact with a friend who is losing or has lost a loved one will precipitate even more grief, so we put contact with our friend on hold indefinitely. Meanwhile, our friend needs to know that we love and care for them. Suspending contact with a friend who’s grieving can enhance feelings of loneliness and aloneness.
Be consistent and frequent in reaching out to a friend who is grieving. Little gestures, such as a text telling them you’re thinking about them, or that you love them, or that you’d like to come by and see them, can mean so much when someone is grieving.
To learn more about grief resources and cremation services in Phoenix, AZ, our compassionate and experienced team at Simply Cremation & Funeral Arrangements can assist you. You can come to our funeral home at 16952 W. Bell Rd., #303, Surprise, AZ, 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.