Supporting a Friend Through Grief

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When someone you care about is grieving, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. You care about them and want to help, but you don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. Here are some tips for supporting a friend who has lost someone.


Listening is a great way to show someone you’re there for them when they’re grieving. You don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or try to fix something. You may feel like you’re not helping, but listening can be really helpful. By listening, you may also pick up on things that hint at what support that person would like. 

Ask them how you can help

Sometimes your friend may not want to talk as it’s too difficult, and they don’t want to repeat themselves continually. Don’t feel rejected if you offer a listening ear or helping hand and it’s rejected. Instead, ask if there is a way you could help. Perhaps it’s help going through belongings, cooking a meal, or getting out of the house as a distraction. 

Check-in after the initial shock period

Often when someones loved one dies, they are swamped with support from friends and family. However, over time, this support does fade. You don’t have to check in constantly, but your friend may appreciate getting a message of support when they least expect it. 

Give them space

The emotions felt when grieving could be very overwhelming. Your pal might find a little space to gather their thoughts helpful. Just be sure to check up on them every now and then because grief can be extremely isolating and make people feel alone. 

Share Memories

Sometimes, grieving people worry about losing memories of those who have passed. If you know the person who is gone, share fond memories with your friend and reflect on their life. Sharing funny stories, photographs and videos can be a great way to connect with someone who is grieving. If you didn’t know the person, you could ask your friend to tell them about their life. 

Direct people to support

Sending your friend information about where to find help when grieving can be useful. It can help them understand the next steps and be another outlet for information, advice, and support. If you’re worried about the things your friend is saying or acting, talk to a responsible adult that you trust, who may also be able to support you. 

Related Information

Learn more about dealing with grief

Visit TheSprout’s Grief, Loss and Bereavement Information Page.

Read tips for dealing with grief this Christmas. 

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