Last updated on May 25th, 2021 at 06:35 pm
Losing somebody close to you is a major life crisis. A person may go through all the stages of grief–denial, anger, bargaining, and depression until finally accepting the loss. In times of grief, people need someone to comfort them and act as a support system.
Seeing a family or friend experience a loss can also be difficult for those around them, but you want to acknowledge your loved one’s feelings and show your support. As much as is possible, you want to comfort them. But how do you properly comfort a grieving loved one?
Help With Funeral Arrangements
There are many ways to comfort your friend or family members at the time of a loss. One way is to help with the funeral arrangements to ensure all the details are taken care of. The goal is to reduce the burden on your loved one however you can. These are a few of the funeral details you can help arrange:
- Preparation for the wake or family gathering
- Taking care of funeral flower arrangements
- Finding a layperson, minister, or priest to perform the funeral service
- Offering to read a scripture or prayer
- Attending to guests
- Helping with the musical selections
- Helping with the eulogy
Be a Shoulder to Cry On
More than anything else, your loved one needs a shoulder to cry on. Your active presence will be much appreciated. Be there to listen and acknowledge your friend’s emotions.
Even if you’re hundreds or thousands of miles apart, you can still show comfort with phone calls or sending messages through text or instant messaging. Be sure to follow-up, and stay in touch with someone who’s grieving. After the initial outpouring of support, they may need that extra phone call or visit more than ever.
Provide Meals and Other Basic Necessities
Helping with basic needs and meals is another way to take care of a grieving loved one. You want to ensure your relative or friend isn’t neglecting their health, safety, and basic needs. Here are some helpful ways to provide sustenance to your grieving loved one:
- Remind your loved one to eat: People who are grieving sometimes neglect to eat, which can make them feel even worse physically and weaken their immune system. More than anyone, you know what foods your loved one enjoys. You could cook a hearty meal for them or order their favorite take-out.
- Run some errands: Doing the grocery shopping and running other errands for your loved one takes a lot off their plate, and is a terrific gesture at a difficult time.
- Assist with finances: Mail and bills may pile up over time, causing financial stress. If you can’t help out financially, at the very least, remind your loved one to keep up with these things to avoid paying penalties or even worse.
Be a Reliable Resource
Grief can cloud a person’s awareness of things like current events. You can serve as a reliable resource by updating your loved one on the latest news, especially those concerning health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, for example.
You may also share your personal experience of loss and grief. Narrate how you moved on through the experience, and impart the lessons you’ve learned. By doing so, your family or friend will feel less alone. Here are some other areas where you can be a reliable resource for your grieving loved one:
- Trends in funeral services
- National news
- Local community events (if you’re in the same community)
- School information (if they have children in school)
- Work updates (if you’re colleagues)
- Business updates (if you’re business partners)
- Landlord updates (if you’re leasing the same apartment building)
Help With Childcare
Parenting is difficult when you’re grieving. Be kind enough to offer your time to look after your friend’s children. Here are some ways you can help your loved one with childcare:
- Offer to accommodate their children in your house while your loved one is busy
- Help find resources to help their children deal with death
- Offer to pick up their children from school
- Help them clean their house
- Cook meals and help take care of little ones
- Help children with school assignments and projects
- Accompany them to medical appointments
There are many ways to comfort a grieving loved one. You can comfort them by extending help with funeral arrangements, providing meals and running errands, and being there as a good listener. Offering your help, guidance, and support is the best way to help your loved one feel comforted, acknowledged, and loved.
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