How to Help a Loved One Grieve

Long after the funeral and cremation services, individuals who are bereaved often have trouble finding ways of moving forward. As a friend or family member of a mourner, you might be unsure of how to help your loved one during this difficult time. Since grief is personal and no two people will respond in the same way, it’s best to let your loved one be your guide when you’re trying to provide grief support .

What Not to Say

There are many appropriate things you could say to a mourner, but it’s equally as important to know what not to say. It’s usually best to avoid platitudes such as “He or she is in a better place” and “I know how you feel.” As a general rule of thumb, avoid voicing your own religious beliefs unless they are solicited and avoid making statements that begin with “You should” or “You will.” It’s also best to avoid trying to cheer up a mourner; grief is a healthy, natural response to loss and your loved one needs time to work through it without feeling rushed.

What to Say

When talking about the loss with your loved one, it’s important to acknowledge his or her feelings. Be genuine in offering your condolences . You might say, for instance, “I’m sorry that you’re going through this.” You could also tell your loved one that you’re not sure exactly what you should say, but that you want your loved one to know that you care. It isn’t necessary to talk the entire time you’re visiting with your loved one. Often, sitting in silence is comforting.

What to Do

After a loss, bereaved family members may have problems functioning and thinking clearly. You could extend an open-ended offer of your assistance, but your loved one might not know how to accept your offer. Instead, offer to do specific tasks or errands, such as shopping for groceries, providing childcare, or locating a reputable estate lawyer.

At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland , you’ll find an array of compassionate grief support services. We are a funeral home and memorial park in Oakland that has been providing loving service to our neighbors for more than 100 years. Visit us online to access our grief support services or call (510) 654-0123.