How to be there for Someone who is Grieving
You may find yourself avoiding a friend or family member when they lose someone close to them. Perhaps you are worried about saying the wrong thing and making things worse, or perhaps you are unsure what to say at all?
Remember that your support could really help – people who are grieving say that the worst thing someone can say is nothing.
Whilst you can't take someone's grief away, you can make them feel less alone.
At this time of uncertainty, being present with someone in their grief is not easy, but is one of the best gifts you can give to someone. Stay in contact – ask them their preference - phone, text or video call. Let them talk about how they are feeling and about the person they have lost.
Being present in silence is also helpful. They may just want you to be there with them in the moment, and not say anything.
Listen rather than talk
Allow them to lead the conversation and talk about their loss. This is a way of dealing with their grief. Remember that people deal with grief in different ways - so if they choose to stay silent, know that having your quiet company can be just as reassuring.
Be open and specific
Be honest about the fact you want to help but are unsure how. Ask them what they need.
If they don't know what they need, thats okay. Let them know that you're there for them whatever they are feeling.
When you do interact with them, create a safe environment where they feel comfortable to express their emotions. You can try switching off any distractions that you may have like phone notifications, so they know they have your full attention.
Their feelings may sometimes swing from one extreme to another. Respect their emotions and keep anything they share with you confidential unless you have permission to share it.
Suggest an activity to do during this isolation period. Whether it's a virtual movie night through Netflix Party, or cooking and having a meal together over video call. Your company is something that is truly precious to someone experiencing bereavement, as it is reassuring to feel like someone is there for them.
Prayer or Dua
Prayer can be powerful. Together you can make dua for the forgiveness of the person who has passed away.
Offer charity on behalf of the deceased, whether it's in the form of money, clothes, food or donating to projects that provide support to those who need it. This will allow them to receive the blessings of these acts beyond the grave.
Help them find others to connect with
Take a look at our Coronavirus bereavement and grief support section. There are 24 hour helplines, forums, and other ways to connect with people going through grief. You may be a great source of support for them, but they may also need more support when you're not there, or in a different way. Often connecting with another bereaved person in the middle of the night through an online forum can be comforting.
How MYH can help
Contact us by
phone 0808 808 2008
web chat www.myh.org.uk/live-chat
read our blog with useful tips here
No one is never really prepared for the paralysing pain of losing someone, yet Allah (SWT) reassures us that every hardship will eventually ease (94:5).