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How to support a Griever Suffering a Loss

Updated on June 7, 2011

7 ways to support a grieving friend

Offer support

It is important to offer support so that your friend knows that he/she has the option to go to you if needing to talk or ask a favour. Also being a little persistent in offering support is useful as a griever going through the stage of depression is likely to turn down help.


While people grieve sometimes they need a ‘scapegoat’ to throw their frustrations at, in this scenario all you can do is listen and know that the person is not being them self at the time. Also the griever will feel the need to speak on the stressor which may make them cry, the best thing to do is give a hug, it is scientifically proven giving a hug improves mood.

Bring Gifts

The best gift to bring is food, this is because the griever will be suffering symptoms of depression and is less likely to be active and do necessary things such as cooking, and the griever may also loss an appetite. This will also make the person feel better knowing someone cares enough to bring a gift.

Comfort talk

Talking to the griever about things that will take their mind off stressor will not work particularly during the first week. The best thing to do is comfort the person by letting them see death as a positive thing such as ‘he is in a better place’ or ‘she had a happy life and that what important’. Anything that will bring positivity to a negative situation will be comforting.

Share experiences

Most of us have lost someone we love, sharing your experiences with grieving will make it easier on the griever as he/she will feel more comfortable expressing themselves to you and they will know they are not alone.

Psychological help

Sometimes a loss is so great the griever develops a long term mental illness, in this case you must encourage the friend to see a therapist and in extreme cases call mental health crisis support if the griever is suicidal.

Give space

Sometimes a griever needs to be left alone and needs time to heal, so just the occasional ‘how are you’ or ‘hope you’re okay’ will suffice.


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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Useful Hub - My Dad lost his friend this week and when I called his son to console him, he was actually laughing and in good spirits on the phone. It confused me abit but I still tried to console.

      I will take into consideration other Tips you have shared.