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Helping Friends Through Their Grief

Close up woman and man in love sitting on couch two people holding hands. Symbol sign sincere feelings, compassion, loved one, say sorry. Reliable person, trusted friend, true friendship concept

Losing a loved one is devastating. At Fox Monuments, we know just how profound a loss it can be. Losing friends or family members is always incredibly painful and it’s usually the worst time in someone’s life. Obviously, we all know how difficult this kind of loss can be. That’s why when a friend loses a loved one, we want to do everything we can to support them. However, many of us simply don’t know what to say or do.

It can often be difficult trying to find the right thing to say or do to give our friends the condolences and support we feel they deserve. Unfortunately, sometimes words and gestures that come from a genuine desire to help can do unintended damage. Often, they can backfire and just exacerbate the pain of a loss. In this post, we’ll discuss some tactful and supportive etiquette that can help a friend through their grief. Keep reading to find out more.

What You Should Do or Say

First and foremost, don’t be afraid to express your condolences or give them a hug. Often, we’re afraid to remind them of their loss. However, the odds are they haven’t exactly forgotten about it. No need for anything over the top, but do or say something. But by reminding them that you care, you’ll be doing a great deal to help them.

Next, be sure to listen, listen, listen. Once you express your sympathy, be an observer. If they don’t want to talk about it anymore, they’ll let you now. Remember: let them move things in the direction they decide. Don’t press them to keep discussing a topic that’s obviously very painful.

It can be an enormous help to get support from somebody who recently went through a similar experience. Additionally, this is much better than simply leaving it at: “I know how you feel.” If they’ve lost a spouse, it can be very helpful for them to see how someone else is dealing with a similar loss. However, never do this without asking them first if they’d find it helpful.

Keep in mind that small gestures can be a huge help. Not every attempt to help has to be grand. Try the occasional text message, phone call or email, maybe bring food or flowers over every once in a while. This series of small gestures can have a massive and profound collective impact.

What You Shouldn’t Do or Say

Without a doubt, you should never diminish the loss. While you might feel extreme discomfort at seeing someone you love in pain, minimizing the loss never helps. However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid focusing on the positive impact of a person’s life. Don’t focus only on past events, though – this can often make the pain worse.

On the flip side of that, it’s equally important to never overdramatize the loss. Statements like “I don’t know how you’ll ever live without them” serve absolutely no purpose. In addition, they negate the truth. Ultimately, they will have to find their way without them.

Remember to ask, don’t tell. Whenever you see them, ask them how it’s going, instead of making observations like “you look amazing” or “you look like you’re having a hard time.” Those are all subjective statements that can often make them feel conflicted. They may not feel that way, or may have no idea of how they feel and might begin questioning their ability to grieve “the right way.” Anyway, there’s no rigid itinerary for grief. Try not to make them feel like they’re going too quickly or too slowly.

Fox Monuments of Long Island

At Fox Monuments, we’ve served Long Island’s Jewish community throughout times of grief for years. We know how painful and disorienting it can be, and strive to provide a service that greatly eases the burden. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are definitely advisable ways to console and support our friends.

For more information on Fox Monuments or our services, contact us today.