The loss of a loved one is never a thrilling feeling; for some, it may seem like the end of the world. If your friend is experiencing this unwanted event, it is important that you remain there for them. Being a support system during a difficult time is a duty that a true friend must take on.
1. Coming up with the right words to offer your condolences can be a difficult task, and some may avoid saying or doing anything at all for this very reason. This is a bad idea. Instead of distancing yourself, choose an outlet in which to contact them. Phone calls, email, and so on, are all acceptable. Never ask them to get in touch with you; simply let them know that you are there if they need you, and wait for a response. Forcing yourself into the situation is never helpful and could cause more problems.
2. Offer to run errands for them. People are all varied in their reactions to the death of a loved one; they may feel so sad and distracted that they can’t even perform otherwise seemingly easy or mundane tasks. This is where you come in. If they need somebody to go and get some groceries, make the trip. If dinner is something they want but can’t work up the energy to do, make it your priority and get out the cook book. What you are doing will be greatly appreciated, even if they don’t voice this.
3. Go with them to the funeral or wake. No matter what they might say, nobody wants to go alone to this kind of event. Be that person who stays close and holds their hand. Be that shoulder to cry on or person to talk to when they feel like they will never survive the ordeal. They are going to be heartbroken, and every little thing will feel like a struggle of large proportions. If you don’t think they want you hovering around, make sure that they are at least aware that you are nearby and are offering the proper respects.
4. Distract them. Take them to see a movie, or perhaps spend the course of a day going shopping. Feeling forlorn and tired all the time brings the need to cheer up, at least for a little while. Help them still be able to see the brighter things in life, and it may aid in getting them through the grief.
5. Above all, have patience. There is no law that states that a person has to grieve a loved one’s death only within an allotted time. It may take them several months or years to move on; a number of people never truly get over it at all. Keep in mind that this person meant a lot to them; never tell your friend to forget about it and get back to their daily grind as soon as possible. Be understanding. You would want them to do the same thing for you, right?