Helping a Friend Through the Grieving Process

By: Lietz Fraze Funeral Home
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When a friend of yours is experiencing the loss a loved one, you may feel torn when it comes to speaking about it. You want to be there and allow them to grieve and express their emotions and feelings to you, but you may also fear that by bringing it up you might upset them. 


Pretending everything is normal with your friend, in some cases, can make the grieving process worse. By vocalizing your support to your friend you are letting them know that you are there for them every step of the way and that you care, without having to bring up the death of their loved one.


First things first, it important that you familiarize yourself with the steps of grieving. By reading over these steps, provided by the American Cancer Society, you will have a better understanding of the place your friend is in and is experiencing.


Shock, disbelief or numbness – When a death first occurs things can be very busy with funeral arraignments, gatherings, and constant visitors. Your friend may not have a minute to sit alone and really feel his/her emotions. It is almost as if they are on auto-pilot at this time.

Confrontation with the loss – As things start to settle down and they begin to think and remember their loved one and the fact that they are not coming back, they will go through deep emotions and extreme feelings. This is the time your friend needs you the most.

Acceptance of loss – At this point, your friend will begin to manage their lives and deal with the loss on a day-to-day basis.


Here are some tips to help you support your friend as they go through the stages of grieving:


During the early stage of the grieving process, it is important to check in with your friend. It may seem easier to send a text message, Facebook message, or an email but it is much more comforting to hear the voice of a friend. Also Instead of saying “Call me if you ever need anything.” try calling your friend every so often or perhaps stopping by to offer help with something specific like a home cooked meal or groceries. 


When you are talking with your friend be aware of the words you are using. Sometimes we say things from the kindness of our heart although it may be portrayed differently to a person who is in pain and hurting. For example, using phrases like, “They are in a better place now” or “Everything happens for a reason” These may cause anger in your friend either because of their belief system or the fact that they have no control over what has happened.


Lastly, remind yourself that your friend will get through this. They need you as a friend to be there for them and support them as they heal. It is important to listen without offering suggestions and simply allowing them to talk about their feelings. If you notice any sudden changes in your friend’s behavior or it has been a long period of time with no progress in their healing, know when to get help. You can gently suggest support groups or therapy.


If you have any other questions or would like to speak to the professionals here at Lietz Funeral Home, you can contact us here.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Benefits Of Planning Your Funeral While You're Still Alive

Not everyone thinks of planning their funeral when they are still alive, but this trend is now catching on. We get quite a few inquiries about what preplanning a funeral involves and whether there ...

Managing Grief During the Festive Season

The festive season is a time for fun, food and spending time with family and friends. But all this fades into insignificance when you have lost a loved one and his or her memories are sti...

Remembering The Departed At Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of the year to spend joyous moments with friends, loved ones and family. It is but human to go down memory lane on this occasion and experience the presence of the loved one ...

What is a Green Burial?

The funeral space has seen a number of changes over the years, and green burials are one of them. Standard burials are a strain on the environment and require huge amounts of concrete, wood, and fo...

Understanding the Stages of Grief

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a book titled ‘On Death and Dying’ almost three decades ago. In this book, she discussed what the different stages of grief were. Since then, these are used as the ...

Pre-Planning Your Funeral

Most people aren’t aware of what’s involved in pre-planning a funeral and feel that even thinking about death and preparing for it is a little unsavory. However the concept of pre-planning your fun...

Steps Involved in the Funeral and Final Disposition Planning Process

Planning a funeral can be an overwhelming and stressful task. There is no way one can prepare how to go about the process. The better prepared you are, the easier the process will be. However, fune...

How To Talk To Your Loved Ones About Your Final Wishes

Talking to loved ones about death and final wishes is never easy and most people struggle to determine where to begin. At Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home, we believe the anxiety of starting this discussio...

Should I or Shouldn't I Go to the Funeral

Formal invitations aren’t issued for funerals so it can be difficult to decide whether you want to attend or not. The general rule of thumb is to attend if the event is accepting guests. If someone...

The Importance of End Of Life Conversation With Your Loved One

Discussing death is unpleasant, especially with loved ones who have to deal with grief after a family member is lost. Most hesitate to do it, hoping to avoid a difficult conversation and believing ...