Emotional and Mental
Helping Others Through Grief and Loss
Be supportive and understanding. Encourage the person who experienced the loss to accept the grief rather than fight it.
Be willing to just be with the person without doing anything extraordinary. Your calmness and clarity can be very reassuring.
Encourage the grieving person to express their real feelings. Expressing the sadness and tears usually clears the way for more positive memories. Don’t take the person’s anger or other negative feelings personally.
Don’t tell them that they are “lucky it wasn’t worse”. Traumatized people are not consoled by this type of statement. Instead, tell them that you are sorry such an event has occurred and you want to understand and help them.
Don’t be afraid to reach out a hand for the individual to hold or appropriately touch the person. A smile or a tender touch or a hug can communicate caring in ways that words cannot always express.
Be attentive to the individual’s needs. Offer to help with day-to-day practical matters. Completing tasks such as cleaning, cooking, lawn care, caring for the family, children, or even pets can be valuable assistance during a period of grief.
Do something special to clearly convey you care, such as writing some kind words, calling on the phone, or giving a small gift to help to uplift spirits. Invite the person to do things with you.
Respect the desire for privacy by allowing the person time alone. Let him/her know you’ll be there if you are needed or wanted.
Suggest reading materials, support groups or counseling to possibly help the person better understand and cope with the loss. Those who are covered by Best Care EAP have counseling services available by phone, online or in-person at one of our offices.