How can I support a loved one or friend after loss?

By Irina Jordan

This post shares the highlights of the talk given by Lori Pederson on How to Support Loved Ones and Friends after Loss.

  • Don't be afraid to reach out to friends who grieve. Smallest things and gestures are most important.
  • Start out small. Say “I'm here for you.” Be available to listen. No act of kindness is too small.
  • It's a new normal when you lose a loved one. It's a long process to work through your grief
  • Listen, don't try to fix things. Grief is a natural process. Let your friend talk it out, let emotions flow.
  • Be assertive. Express to you family what you need to do to work through your grief. Six months are not enough.
  • It's natural to cry and grieve. You're not insane. Everybody goes through it.
  • Find your support network and express your feelings openly to heal.
  • Things not to say: Are you better now? Why aren't you over it yet? You can find another spouse.
  • Instead of saying "Sorry for your loss", talk about some special memory about the one who passed.
  • You are an expert on yourself. Don't transpose your expectations on others.
  • Imagine if you lost a loved one. What do you want people to say to you? Say that to others.
  • Acknowledge a grieving co-worker, don't avoid him/her. Ask what s/he might need.
  • Listen to your grieving co-worker, don't start sharing long stories about losing your loved ones.
  • If you make a promise to your grieving friend, keep it. Better not promise anything if you can't deliver.
  • Find the way to keep moving forward, grieve your loss but be open to life.
  • Grief is normal. Embrace it and you will heal quicker.