Supporting a Friend Who Has Lost a
& How You Can Help
by Carl Caton
We've all been there. Someone you
are close to loses a family member. While the loss may not be
significant to you, it is certainly significant to someone you
At times like this, we find ourselves
saying, "I wish there was something I could do". Well,
there is. Here a some practical pointers to show love during a
When someone loses a family member, chaos sets in. There is so
much to do - planning funerals, meeting family, hosting out of town
guests. You can help out by providing those basic essentials that
are so needed during times like these. Why not drop some supplies by
their house. Here's a sample shopping list:
plates, bowls, napkins, cups
coffee, creamer, sugar
food in disposable containers
simple, complete meals like casseroles
canned vegetables & fruits
foils, glad wrap, zip lock bags
cookies, cake, pies
Learn the Art of Brevity.
Realizing how much your friend must do during these times, keep things
simple and short. When visiting, don't stay too long. When
talking, don't say too much. Simply saying, "I'm sorry for your
loss" is often enough. Let them do the talking.
Sometimes, your presence is all that's required.
Be Honest but Tactful.
Sometimes we are at a loss for what to say. So we use clichés
and other meaningless words. If your friend lost his father, don't
say "your dad was a great man" if he was really a
scoundrel. If you can't truthfully complement the deceased, then say
nothing at all. Also, be aware of the quality of relationship that
your friend had with the deceased - whether good or difficult.
Honor the Grieving Process.
No one likes to see a friend hurting. So we try to cheer them
up. Don't force your friend to put on a happy face to please
you. Be supportive of her grief and understand that it simply takes
time. Tell her you will pray for her.
Be There When the Dust Settles.
Just after the death, people are over stimulated with friends and
relatives. In a short few weeks, loneliness can set in. After
the funeral, put a note on your calendar to contact your friend a few
weeks later with a card or phone call. Be an eager listener.
Be patient with the grieving process.
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