Helping a Friend Through the Grieving Process

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The grieving process is different for each individual and there is no set time on when it will be easier for them. Letting your friend know that you are there for them every step of the way and that you care is the most important words you can say while they are mourning the loss of a loved one.


Before you can begin to help a friend going through the loss of a loved one, it is important to understand and consider what the stages of the grieving process are. Here are some to look at according to the American Cancer Society:


The first couple of weeks of the grieving process is full of visitors, bustle, and shock. Your friend may feel as if they have been so distracted by everything going on, they haven’t actually had a minute to sit with themselves and take in the reality of what is going on. It is as if they are on auto-pilot. This is the stage that they will feel numbness or disbelief.


The second stage of the grieving process is the time they need you the most and are going through the confrontation with the loss. They will begin to feel very intense emotions about their loss and pain and they may have symptoms such as:


  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Lack of appetite
  • Socially withdrawn


The third stage of the grieving process is accepting the loss. They will always feel a void within their hearts for the loss of their loved one and certainly not stop thinking about them regularly, although they will have reached a point in which they begin to accept it.


Keep in mind that this process of steps for grieving goes at the pace of the individual and is different for everyone. With time the pain will lessen and it also depends deeply on the relationship your friend had with the deceased. Being there for them is very important to lift their spirit and allow them to feel safe and supported with you. Offering to bring over dinner may not go the way you would like it because sometimes solidarity feels most comfortable to a person mourning. Instead, try calling and say your bringing over your famous lasagna or a movie you know they love.


If you have any questions on supporting you friend during this difficult time, you can contact, Thomas Gallagher Funeral Home, here.

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