By: Paula Short
"But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired." Isaiah 40:31— AMP
You have a friend or loved one who is grieving, and you want to help. Perhaps your friend has lost a loved one, has been diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, or has a job loss. You worry you'll worsen their pain. That's a common concern for many of us. You want to help, but you need to figure out how. Let's look at some ideas of what you can do to help…
Lend an ear
Your friend may share the same stories and memories with you many a time and oft. They may talk about their loss regularly. You can help by listening. Sit tight, be quiet, and listen attentively. Then when your friend is done talking, acknowledge and validate her pain.
Offer To Help
Sometimes the only thing we can think of is to say, "Let me know if you need anything." Rather than saying, "Let me know if you need anything," it's important to remember that grieving individuals may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what they need. It's okay if they need some space and time to themselves.
Hang in there with your friend or loved one
I've read that it can take up to two years to fully recover from grief, which is completely normal. However, it's still important to show up and be present for your friend during this difficult time. It's important to remember that your friend or loved one may not be the same person they once were after experiencing a loss. Let them know you love and care for them, and they'll appreciate it more than you know.
It can be challenging for grieving people to cope with anniversaries and special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. Reaching out to your friend and making them feel included on these meaningful days is essential.
The holidays can also make grief reemerge. A friend that lost a loved one 10 years ago may still grieve as acutely as if she'd lost her loved one ten minutes ago.
If your friend declines your invitation to spend time together or join you on a holiday, please understand that she may prefer to grieve alone. It's important to communicate that you still care for and support her, regardless of her decision.
It's worth noting that everyone experiences grief in their own way. In such situations, it can be incredibly helpful to just show compassion and lend a listening ear. Being present for your friend or loved one during this challenging time can mean the world to them, and letting them know that you care and support them can make all the difference.