There will be many times in the course of your life that you will encounter a friend who is grieving. However, after hearing the news of their loss, words fail you. Actually, that’s okay. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing than to offer some banality that comes to mind. Let them tell you their story and then perhaps ask if they’d like to have coffee and sit for a while. Just being there might be the best thing you can do for them at that moment. With that said, there are others who may be looking for some words of encouragement, some words of faith in the hereafter, but you won’t know that immediately. Here are some things you can do that won’t seem trivial or out of place.
Listen to What They Are Saying
Sometimes you will hear them say that no one understands their pain. Friends seem to have abandoned them in their moment of need. Although you know that some people just don’t know what to do or say to someone who is suffering such a loss, you also understand that your friend just needs someone to care about, someone to be there for and with them. That’s what you can do, starting with listening to what they are saying.
When They Want to Believe in Something Beyond This Earthly Plane
Some people want to believe in life everlasting after they pass from this plane of existence but are teetering on the edge of uncertainty. This is not the time to begin preaching about God and resurrection on the last day. Continue listening and make a mental note to send them something encouraging. There are little gifts of angels on sites like holyart.com and prayer cards you can send along at a later date. Real grief doesn’t evaporate overnight and as the days go on and more and more friends seem to desert them, that is the time your gift will have real meaning. Someone cares. Someone understands their pain.
Check on Them Frequently
Over the next few days and weeks, take the time to check in on them. Maybe a phone call, a text, or even a personal message on Facebook or their social media of choice will let them know that you care and are there if they need you. Perhaps you can even arrange a time and place to meet up with them for coffee or lunch. The fact that you are there will speak more than words ever could.
That is what so many people don’t understand. The only real way to give comfort to someone who is grieving is just to simply be there for them. Let them know they are not alone and that you care. There really are no words you can say that will ease their pain but remember, actions speak louder than words. That little gift of a resin angel or prayer card will mean more to them than someone who mumbles some banal cliché. Ask if there is anything you can do for them and sit with them as often as possible so they will know that they are not alone.