When I joined a grief group, the first thing I learned was not to expect much from my friends so that I wouldn’t be disappointed. And it was true. It’s not that friends don’t care or don’t want to help. They just have no idea what to do or say. I was one of those friends myself. We are able to support our friends through many hard times, but when it comes to the death of a loved one it’s like we get tongue-tied and paralyzed. We are fearful, desperately wanting to help but feeling inadequate to do so. Grief makes us uncomfortable, and we are at a loss as to what to do. Often we blurt out something we shouldn’t. Or, sometimes, we simply do nothing.
I hope that what I’ve learned through my grief experience will help you be the friend you want to be to the grieving person in your life—the one you’re trying to help right now. When we’re not there for those who are grieving, it’s not because we don’t care; we do. We just aren’t sure how to respond. And we’re scared. But we can do it. YOU can do it! And with a little knowledge and willingness, you will. Because you already have the most important quality you need to be helpful …YOU CARE!