Helping Friends Who Are Grieving
Don’t be afraid to visit. You don’t have to stay long or worry about making conversation.
Anticipate the needs of the person who has experienced the loss. You could answer the phone, answer the door, mow the lawn, volunteer to house incoming relatives, do laundry or provide food.
Don’t tell them, “I know how you feel”. A woman may have lost her husband, but your husband is still alive—you don’t know how she feels.
Don’t try to make comments to minimize the tragedy; they are only ineffective.
Write a letter of condolence. Every word should be words of caring and love. You could describe the happy memories you shared with the one who has died.
Help her to recognize that recovery takes time and goes through various stages. (There could be a stage of bitterness)
Be there to listen. “When grief is the freshest, words should be the fewest”.
It is very important to help the grieving understand the difference between making choices based on feelings and choices based on facts. To illustrate this fact. Suppose you have a widow in your church who receives money from her husband’s insurance policy after his death. This is more money than she has ever had in her hands at one time. She must understand that she will need this money to pay her living expenses for many years. She will have a tendency to go on unnecessary spending sprees or give away large amounts of money.
Help her to see that God has a goal for her life.
Mark on your calendar the date of the death. On the 1 month, 2 month, and 1 year anniversary, send a card, text her, or call her just to let her know that you are praying for her and thinking about her.