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5 Simple Ways to Support a Grieving Friend

Antisocial or not, all humans feel an innate desire to form connections with those around us and foster those bonds for years to come. Having a friend is not only about having someone to enjoy life with, but also a shoulder to cry on during the bad times. Of course, every individual reacts with negative experiences differently, and how you choose to support your friend during these times can define the rest of your relationship.

Losing someone can be very difficult and your friend may be experiencing a surplus of emotions, from confusion to sadness, and even anger. The easiest way to show your support is through a gentle approach, as grieving typically takes a long time. It is important to remember that showing your support will not immediately make your friend happy, but it will make everything easier. Here are a five things you can do that your friend will be extremely grateful for:

1. Check up on them often:

Many people will only check in during the funeral. However, it is important to make sure they know you are there consistently.  It is human nature to feel slightly awkward or uncomfortable while your friend is grieving. Even if you cannot be there in-person, we have plenty of alternative ways of communication at our disposal. Simply sending a text message or calling your friend on a weekly basis is a great way to show your support. It is important not to undermine your friend’s loss and instead, acknowledge it as an important event of his/her life. While this act may not seem impactful, many people feel gladdened when their friends remember important dates, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and even losses.

2. Be a good listener:

When humans experience sad life events, we typically find that going through them with another person makes it easier. Simply sitting down with your friend and asking him/her to express any feelings to you can relieve him of the thoughts circulating in his head. Coping while grieving can be difficult, and some individuals may find harmful coping methods to help them. Listening to your friend without interruptions can ensure that your friend copes healthily with his/her loss and strengthen your friendship.

3. Assist them with daily tasks:

While your friend is grieving, he/she may not feel up for performing daily tasks, such as exercising, cooking meals, doing laundry, and cleaning their Legacy Quartzite Countertops. If you are available, stop by and assist with a few tasks, or perform them together. Having a second person to undergo these dull tasks with will provide the motivation he/she needs to perform them by himself. Do not assist every day, as that will encourage your friend to rely on others for the completion of these daily tasks. As a friend, you should show your support, but solely that. His/her best intentions lie with being able to function at his optimal best and he can only do so after gaining the necessary motivation.

4. Make note of any undesirable symptoms:

If your friend has been grieving for some time, it is important to monitor his/her behavior for signs of any harmful coping mechanisms or negative mental states. Often, grieving for too long can cause depression along with an unhealthy state of mind. Some signs to look out for include weight loss, isolation, and aggressive behavior. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to speak with a grief counselor.

5. Provide resources for coping:

Most people are typically hesitant towards reaching out for professional help while there are grieving. When being told to reach out by a family member, your friend may refuse. While you may not be able to greatly influence his/her opinion, you can provide resources, such as pamphlets or links to websites that assist in the grieving process. If your friend ever decides to seek help, he/she will be very grateful.

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