Tips for Helping a Friend Through the Grieving Process

By: Greg Hurd
Monday, September 19, 2016

When a friend loses a loved one that was close and dear to their heart, they are experiencing a great deal of pain and can seem very distant. You may be feeling that you are trying to be there for them but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to make them feel better. The important thing is that you are trying and even though your friend may seem closed off, they need you during this time of loss and grieving.


Understanding that your friend is going through their own grieving process may help you to put what they are feeling into perspective. According to the American Cancer Society these are the stages of the grieving process that your friend is more than likely experiencing:


Shock, disbelief or numbness

The first couple of weeks after the loss of a loved one can be busy for your friend and they may feel as if they are on auto-pilot, handling the constant visitors and bustle. They may not have had any time to themselves to let everything sink in.


Confrontation with the loss

At this stage, your friend may feel intense feelings of loss and pain. Symptoms may vary widely from depression, lack of appetite, withdraw socially, anger, and to guilt. This is the time your friend needs your support the most.


Acceptance of loss

We come to a point that we accept the loss of a loved one, although we never stop missing them, we eventually find ways to move forward with our lives. At this stage, your friend has managed to deal with the loss of her daily life.


Here are some tips to help you support your friend through this trying time:


  • Check in & Help out: Although it may be easier send a quick text message or an email to your friend, hearing a familiar voice can really lift your friend’s spirits. Even if you are feeling as if they just want to be alone, try calling them every so often or even stopping by with a home cooked meal. Instead of saying, “Call me if you need anything”, call your friend instead.


  • Be a good listener: Your friend is grieving and they may want to sit and talk about all the old times with their loved one who has passed and simply reminisce. They may get emotional as they talk about them, but the best thing you can do is to have an open ear and hear them out. Sometimes talking is a healing component to the grieving process.


  • Know when to get help: If a year’s time has passed and your friend is still showing intense emotion that may seem like depression suggest they see a therapist or even join a support group and offer to help them find the right path to help. 


If you have any questions or would like talk to our professionals here at, Hurd Funeral Homes, you can contact us here and we will more than happy to talk to you through these trying times. 


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