Statements that show you care:
- I’m sorry for your loss.
- Is there any specific way I can help right now?
- I can’t even imagine how much you are hurting.
- Can I call you and check in with you every so often?
- I promise you I won’t go away.
- Would you like to talk about it? I want to hear your story.
- It’s OK with me if you cry.
It is normal to feel awkward around pain or suffering. Here are some ways to show support:
- Be there in silence and let them have their feelings. Sometimes just sitting with someone without having to say anything is the greatest gift you can give them.
- Don’t stop making contact over the months (unless asked to). They will appreciate your care even if they can’t take you up on it yet. Sometimes it takes weeks or months before a grieving person is able to reach out for help. They may need your calls more after the first couple of months.
- Realize that although they may seem to be doing well, they have a lot of grief to work though.
- Remember them during their “down times,” especially evenings and weekends. Suggest a specific date to get together.
- Feel free to use the name of the loved one who died. Encourage them to talk about it when they are ready.
- Bring food or invite them to dinner. Remember it may be hard for them to cook.
- Go for walks together. Walking is good for depression, and it helps to “walk off” feelings.
- A hug or a hand squeeze can mean more than a few well-meaning words.
- Let them know you value them by spending time together just being.