How to Help Your Friend With a Death That Affects You Too

Опубликовал Admin
20-10-2016, 14:45
Death is always very hard to deal with. When a death affects you and those close to you, the impact can be all the more stressful. Not only are you trying to help your friend (or friends) process their grief, you're trying to do so yourself, too.


  1. Be honest about your feelings. Oftentimes after a death, people feel inclined to focus only on heart-warming messages of faith and love. Those emotions are incredibly important, but it's also not a bad thing to acknowledge the pain and grief. When friends are experiencing grief simultaneously, hiding this fact from each other doesn't necessarily benefit anyone; in fact, it can make you and your friend feel isolated and alone. Being open with another about the tough times can help you both get through it.
  2. Tell your friend that you love them all the time. There is, sadly, nothing like losing a loved one to remind us what we have. Take the time to let your friend (and other people in your life) know that you care about them.
  3. Be sensitive to when you bring the subject up. Bottling up all of your feelings is never a good thing. However, there may be times when your grieving friend is comfortable discussing the loss, and other times when they're not. Try to read their cues for when they want to talk about it. If they need space or want to save these kinds of discussions for private times or other settings, be sensitive to those needs.
  4. Be there for them - and let them be there for you. When they cry, be their shoulder. People can't deal with stuff like this on their own; give them some space when they want it, but when they're ready for a shoulder, be ready. Likewise, if they offer you an ear, a shoulder, or some comfort, try to be open to it; friends can really help one another in times of loss by just being there for one another, particularly when they share the experience and are both grieving.
  5. Consider some grieving rituals. If you're spiritual or religious, you may want to attend some services or ceremonies together, to honor your lost loved one; even for non-religious people, holding a memorial service is fairly common, and such an event can provide some healing and closure in a time of death. If you're attending a service, going with the friend who is also grieving can help you both get the support you need on a difficult day.
    • If you don't have a memorial service to attend or prefer not to go, consider having your own small ritual to honor your lost friend. Get together - with your grieving friend and any other mutual loved ones - to do something that the deceased always enjoyed. Maybe you can take a walk at a favorite location, play a favorite game, or watch a favorite film together. Try to find something that has meaning for you all, to give you a chance to remember your lost friend, grieve together, and talk about memories and current feelings, if you want to.
  6. Take some time alone, if needed - and be prepared to give you friend space, too. People who are in pain can benefit a lot from sharing their feelings and experiences with one another. However, there are also times when you just want to be alone, and your grieving friend may be experiencing the same thing. When they want some time alone, try to provide for that. Don't ask too many questions or nag for responses; let them take the time they need, and let them know they can reach out when they want to talk again.
    • If you need time alone yourself, be clear with your friend(s). Be polite and grateful for the sport they're offering, but just let them know you want some temporary space. Say something like, "I just want to spend some time by myself today. Can we talk again tomorrow?"
  7. Take time for positive memories. Death is a time of immense sadness, and nothing can take away from the loss. However, it's also important to remember your lost loved one and the good times you all spent together. If you and your friend are both affected by this death, take a little time to reflect on some good memories together.
    • Try looking through old photographs and sharing old stories. This process may be upsetting, but it can also make you smile about shared past experiences and celebrate the best qualities of your lost friend.


  • Don't let them go through it alone. If you are not as closely affected by the loss as your friend, you may want to give them some extra space, but if they do find that they need someone for support, let them know that you are there.


  • People can act out of character in times of distress and loss. Try not to take sadness, depression, or anger personally during moments of grief; you and your grieving friend(s) can get through the pain and come out the other side with a strong relationship, even if it seems impossible in the heat of the moment.
  • Grieving and recovering from severe loss takes time. Don't expect healing overnight; dealing with death and becoming accustomed to a new reality can take years.
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