Helping others with grief can feel a bit daunting.  This may be because we are uncomfortable with death, or we just don’t know how to make a difference.  We all experience grief in our lives at some point. During these trying times, we are all grieving in different ways. People are experiencing tremendous losses, and many feel like they are suffering alone. However, a loss is present for nearly everyone, whether it be the loss of a loved one, a job, or the feeling of structure and routine.

We recently watched with great sorrow the very public grieving of our Royal family. No matter who you are, you cannot help but be moved by the attempts of a stiff upper lip and the raw images of a family trying to hold it together on a public stage.

Grief is more than just a response to death. We grieve when we end a marriage, leave a treasured job or community group, or even when our children grow up and leave home. Sometimes we suffer for our lost lives, childhoods, and things that might have been. It is still grief.

Helping others with grief can be daunting. Often, in our confusion over the concept of grief, we do not know how to help our own family and friends to work through grief. As a result, many of us disconnect because it’s too daunting, and we feel incredibly guilty when we fall short.

The following are a few simple ways to support someone grieving.

Stay in Contact

During times like these, we all feel somewhat isolated and separated from some of our loved ones or friends. However, you can make this person feel supported and connected by reaching out with a phone call, text, or even a handwritten letter. Keeping up with your loved ones and those grieving around you is crucial when human interaction is lost. Something so small to you can make the most significant difference to others.

Refrain from Comparison

When talking through difficult conversations like death or other forms of loss, it may be easy to relate to yourself to make the other person feel like they are not alone. Comparison can make them feel like their emotions are invalid and not understood. Rather than comparing situations, listen to what they are going through and be there for emotional support. Just listening allows the person you are supporting to express their emotions, and sometimes just talking about the situation rather than bottling it can help improve their situation.

Assist with meals

When someone is grieving a loss, it can be hard to get off of the couch or out of bed to cook a meal. However, going to the grocery store and preparing food for them can improve their day significantly and show them how much you support them. When someone experiences a loss, their whole routine will feel out of line, and it will take time to adjust, so anything you can do to keep their routine moving will be greatly appreciated.

Helping others with grief by listening

Although there are many ways to show your support for grieving loved ones, one of the most important things to do is be there with open ears. We have two ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion. Even though it may seem like the person needs advice, they often need a place to let out what is going through their head and feel like they have someone there for support. Unless asked for advice, the best thing to do is acknowledge their feelings and let them know that what they are going through is very typical during a loss.

Avoid Judgement

Since everyone grieves differently, it may take your loved one a lot longer to adjust emotionally and mentally than expected. So instead of judging them and wishing they would be back to normal, you need to provide support for as long as they need it and let them adjust. Especially during tough and unpredictable times like these, someone may be grieving over something that you may not think is a big deal compared to other events. However, judging the situation and providing these opinions will only hurt the other person and make their feelings seem invalid.

There are many ways to be supportive in times of grief, and these different solutions will vary based on the situation and the impact on the person grieving. It is essential to recognize that during times like these, people may be grieving things that stray from the norm, but being there for them and reaching out for support will help them in more ways than you could imagine.