How To Support A Friend After The Loss Of A Parent

October 31, 2019  |  
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Emotionally victimized

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The death of a parent is a traumatic experience and unless you’ve lived through it yourself, it can be difficult to figure out the best ways to be there for a friend during her time of grief. Hands down, the most important thing is that you’re there and that she feels your presence. Here are 10 ways to support your friend after she’s suffered the loss of a parent.

Don’t compare her loss to the time you lost a relative

Unless said relative was a parent or a parental figure. Losing a parent is one of those things that you’ll never understand until you’ve lived it. Although you may just be trying to connect with your friend, don’t insult her by telling her that you know what she’s going through because you don’t.

I just can't remember the recipe

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Give her space when she asks for it

Everyone grieves differently, so don’t be offended if she tells you that’s she prefers to be alone right now. Respect her wishes without giving her a guilt trip and let her know that you’re just a phone call away if she needs you.

I will always be here for you

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Listen to her stories without interrupting

After losing a loved one, walking down memory lane is sometimes the best way to feel close to the deceased. Storytelling can be therapeutic, so listen to all of her fondest memories of her deceased parent without interrupting.

Senior women doing a video call using smartphone

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Cook for her

When a person is grieving, cooking a nutritious meal is nowhere near the top of their to-do list. But nothing says “I love you” like a nice home-cooked meal from a friend.

Asian Chinese Mother with two daughters of mixed Chinese and African American ethnicity in a green lush back yard setting posing for portraits smiling and being silly

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Offer to take her kids to the park while she takes time to decompress

It can be hard to grapple with the loss of a parent while parenting. Give your girl time to decompress and take care of herself by offering to take her kids for a couple of hours.

Woman at a Funeral

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Be present after the funeral

She will likely have a ton of support immediately following her parent’s passing, but weeks and months following the funeral is when she will need your support the most.

Woman in caffee shop

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Invite her out to lunch

A simple lunch outing with a good friend could be the pick me up your girl needs to make it through the day. So pick up the phone and set a date.

Describing the scenery to my loved ones

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Share your fondest memories of her parent

It will make her heart glad to hear about how her parent touched your life so share all of your positive stories.

African American woman at home checking her mail

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Write her a heartfelt letter

The first few days after a tremendous loss feel like a blur. By putting your condolences in writing, she will be able to re-read and reflect on your words of encouragement during the difficult days and weeks that lie ahead — even when you’re not around.

Going for a walk downtown

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Invite her to go for a walk

According to Psychology Today, “Walking with others helps ease feelings of loneliness and counter the tendency to withdraw socially.” A few things make a person feel more alone than losing a parent.

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