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20 Things Grieving Friends and Family Want You to Know (List)

Here is the list from my past video series (view Part 1 of 4 by clicking here):



20 Things Your Grieving Friends and Family Want You to Know

In no particular order.

  1. Please talk about person who died.

  2. Offer specific ways to help, or ask what they need.

  3. Don’t give advice. Alternatively, tell them what has helped you, which may or may not be what they need.

  4. Talk less, listen more.

  5. Be very patient with their grief process. Don’t say anything to rush them – they would like it to be over more than anyone! The reality is that their grief will never completely end, though it should get easier eventually.

  6. Don’t say anything to help them feel better. More often than not, you’re trying to make yourself feel better about them.

  7. Be willing to be a companion, but be flexible when you’re together. You might just sit quietly together.

  8. Allow the tears.

  9. It can help to do “regular” things too. But, again, be flexible.

  10. Acknowledge that the big days are hard, and acknowledge that the small days are hard.

  11. Don’t act like you’re there for them when you’re not.

  12. Don’t tell them you know how they feel.

  13. It’s OK to remind them of the good things in their life, but don’t even approach these until you’ve acknowledged the hard things.

  14. Don’t offer spiritual help beyond prayer unless you know them well enough to know they appreciate it, and don’t offer any spiritual help unless you’re also supporting in other ways.

  15. Help them find a therapist or support group if you can and if needed, but continue be there for them as you’re able. It’s normal to need professional help while grieving.

  16. Don’t tell them they’re strong or about how good they look. Don’t act like they’re OK to make yourself feel better.

  17. There’s no right thing to say. Actions speak louder than words.

  18. Don’t stop checking in.

  19. Don’t stop giving gentle invitations to be included.

  20. Don’t just keep them busy.

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