SamanthaBlasone
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How to Help a Grieving Friend

Everyone copes with death in their own way, and having a supportive friend can make all the difference to someone who is grieving. Knowing that you are not alone in dealing with your pain is the most comforting feeling one can have during a time of mourning. If you haven't experienced a major loss, it can be difficult to understand someone who has. Here are some things you can do to show your friend that you care and that they're not alone: 1. Acknowledge the situation and express your concern. Let them know that you understand that they are in pain and that you genuinely want to help. 2. Don't just say, "I'm here for you." Actually, do it! Make an effort to spend more time with your friend on their terms. Comfort food and corny jokes are always a good idea. 3. Observe their behavior. Just because he/she isn't talking about it, doesn't mean its not on their mind. Always ask if they want to talk, but don't push too hard. Some people are open books and have no problem expressing themselves to a friend, but others can be more closed off, and thats okay. Not everyone needs to talk. Sometimes they just need to know you're there! 4. If your friend does talk to you about it, just listen. Don't assume that you know how they feel. Try to refrain from cliche sayings like, "He/She is in a better place now." 9 times out of 10, grieving people don't want to hear that. If you can't find the words to say, thats fine! Give them a hug. If you can find some comforting words to say, that's fine too. 5. And lastly, just because it may become old news to you, doesn't mean the grieving is over for them. People who have lost a loved one often think of them and feel their absence everyday. Time cannot completely heal grief--let your friend know you'll always be their shoulder to cry on.
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This one can be so hard: " Not everyone needs to talk. Sometimes they just need to know you're there!" I always am the type to talk talk talk so I have to remind myself that not everyone is like that! I've found that depending on the friend and circumstances, being OK to make yourself a little uncomfrotable making jokes can actually sometimes help your friend be more comfortable, since the cliche niceness that they're feeling on all fronts can be exhausting
#2 is so huge to me. When I was grieving, I had so many people - even people I hadn't talked to in nearly a decade - reaching out to me to tell me that they're 'here for me' and yet I felt like more often than not, I was entirely alone. A lot of friends who I used to see every single weekend started pulling away and deliberately hanging out with me less and less because they realized what I was going through was 'hard' and they assumed I 'needed space'. That was the WORST thing they could've assumed. This is a great card by the way. Thank you so much for writing it. <3
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