If someone you know has lost someone special to them, here are some things to remember, and ways in which you can show your support:
- Even if you say “I’m always here if you want to talk”, remember that although they might need to talk, they might be scared of being a ‘burden’ – even if you would not feel burdened. This is why grief often seems so silent, and so hidden. It’s good to offer, but even better to back it up with an action.
- This action could be something practical – like taking them a home-cooked meal or ordering a takeaway to their door (sometimes, when we feel low, the thought of cooking a dinner can feel exhausting and like too much effort); It could be doing something they’ve been putting off or taking some weight off their shoulders by doing something on their to-do list, without expectation for anything in return; or the action could include something kind like making a gift bag full of thoughtful things, such as candles, photographs of memories you have shared together, or putting together tiny book filled with reasons why you love and/or appreciate them – even when they might have distanced themselves. You can also include a piece of paper with your telephone number on it, to remind them that you’re always there for a phone call – or a gift card for a movie and their favourite snack.
- Whatever you decide to do, it is important to show them you know them, and that you care – with no strings, and no expectations attached. Let them know that you aren’t asking for anything in return, so they don’t feel pressured – you just want them to know that you’re there.