How To Support A Friend After The Loss Of A Parent
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.