Have you ever been in a situation where a grieving friend needs your support? Here are a few brief notes on how to support a friend who is grieving the loss of their loved one:
Listen “with your heart”
- They need to tell their story – give them space to tell it!
- Telling our story is one of the best ways to process what has happened.
- Remember that they don’t need “fixed” but rather they need to be loved.
Continue your contact with them
- Make calls, send texts, drop off cards, and extend invitations.
- Especially after the first month when often these types of contacts slow down and stop.
- And if they don’t respond, don’t take their silence personally.
- Remind them they are not forgotten by you.
Offer to meet/take them to church
- It can be very difficult for grievers to return to church after experiencing the death of someone close to them.
- After the death of a loved one, remember that grievers are also affected spiritually.
Don’t “you should” or “you shouldn’t” them
- Remember that each griever is unique and their grief journey will be as unique as they are.
- Know that they will grieve in their own way and in their own time.
- Don’t offer advice about how their grief journey should/shouldn’t look.
- Give the griever permission to grieve in their own way.
Don’t offer “bumper sticker” sayings
- Do not default to responses like “They are with Jesus now”, “You know where they are”, “You will see them again”.
- While true, “bumper sticker” sayings are not comforting early in grief.
- Know that the griever is missing the human, physical presence of their loved one.
And lastly, but most importantly, pray with and for them often!
We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are not exempt from the painful sorrow of grieving a loved one who died. On the contrary, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 tells us that we are not to grieve as others do who have no hope!
The CCC Grief Support group gathers three times a year during the 10 a.m. service at our Hudson Campus. At each of our Grief Support groups, we gather under the leading of trained facilitators to encourage, support and remind each other that healing does take place and our hope in Christ remains. During each of those six-week series, we discuss the normal and natural grief process that affects us emotionally, physically, and spiritually when we experience the death of our loved one. The topics discussed include normal grief, emotions and feelings, expectations, healing and that honest question of, “Where is God?”. When you’re ready to join us, we’re here for you.
Healing takes time and is better with support. Work through your grief with others on the same journey as we provide information on the normal, natural and necessary grief process. For more info, contact: [email protected].