Published on July 4, 2022

How You Can Support a Loved One Through a Bereavement

Comforting a bereaved loved one may be difficult. It is hard to know how to aid them during this difficult period. Grief may bring forth raw emotions and affect the bereaved significantly. Grief may cause people to lash out or behave out of character.

It does not matter if they couldn’t say farewell before the death or if they knew their loved one did not have long and told them they loved them while they were alive. Being courteous allows you to help someone at a difficult moment.

There is no proper way to grieve, so understanding how to help someone is difficult. Deal with doubt or discomfort promptly to avoid it preventing you from helping a grieving person. How can you support someone who is grieving?

Put them first

This is about delivering support, not how you feel. So, despite the validity of your sentiments, you should focus on your loved one.

They may struggle to accept or cope with the death of a loved one. Asking them to consider your sentiments will not help, but you may address them while they grieve. Immediate focus should be on pushing back thoughts to enable them to cope.

Try not to take anything personally. When grieving, lashing out at others is expected. It is hard to take someone else’s cruel words. Allowing them to express themselves while you are present will demonstrate your support.


Avoid instructing someone how to mourn. Grief is something that everyone must go through in their own way. There is no one-size-fits-all bereavement strategy, so keep the lines of communication open to let them vent and work through their feelings.

Emotions may be wild and strong. Take it all in stride and be ready to listen to them process and express. Stay calm and help them dump on you.

If necessary, be silent. Some individuals absorb their suffering internally, and your presence helps them. Allowing oneself to help someone in any way they need is crucial.


You must help them realise the predicament and know you are there to chat. In this situation, listening may be more essential than talking.

Telling them you can chat can help. Be explicit in your vocabulary and demonstrate compassion by saying, “I am sorry to hear (insert name) died.” You can talk to them about what happened, the individual, and their death.

Practical support

Support during this sensitive period is helpful. Well-meaning offers of meals may pile up in the freezer, but there are other ways to comfort a bereaved person. Need funeral planning or cremation help? Or they may require help with school runs, contacting businesses, insurance providers, or paying payments. Allow them to depend on you and do what is needed.

Grief may be overpowering, making things like driving, doing laundry, and grocery shopping impossible.

Be patient

Grief is timeless. Losing someone is painful for many individuals. Time makes each day simpler.

Grieving people appreciate your patience in being there whenever they need you. They will know you are there for as long as it takes them to learn to live without their loved one. 

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