The French thinker, Lamartine, once said:
This beautiful quote gives a realistic insight into life when you are facing grief. When someone departs before their time, the heart cries, the mind is lost and confused, and the body can’t relax. It’s never an easy situation. But as a bystander, there are still things you can do to help a friend get on with their grief. Losing someone is devastating. As a friend, you can help to soothe the pain and ensure that the wound heals with time. Left unattended, people who struggle with feelings of grief and despair can too easily lapse into depression and even self-destructive behavioral tendencies. While nobody can shed those tears for them, you need to be the light that guides your friend out of the sadness of mourning.
Help with the organization
Nobody likes to think of these things in technical and practical terms, but ultimately, death needs to be organized and prepared like any other event in life. If your friend is too lost in pain to handle the preparation of the funeral ceremony, you can assist by gathering information for them on the local cremation services for instance. You can also get in touch with a funeral director to find out how to inform the local authorities, tax, insurers, employer, etc. of the passing of a person. You might think that being with your friend is the best thing to do. But sometimes, people need a clear mind to guide them through the administrative side of death. By providing support here, you allow your friend and their family to mourn at their pace. Admittedly, you can’t make decisions for them – and you shouldn’t – but it’s fair to say that you can do the research work for them.
No tear doesn’t mean no feeling
Not everyone feels comfortable expressing their feelings. Some people prefer to keep everything bottled up. As a result, it’s not uncommon for people – especially men but not always – to pretend they’re strong while they are, in fact, crumbling inside. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs and to be there when your friend or your partner struggles with grief feelings. Depression can develop as a result. Consequently, you can make it your priority to be there for them and to help them talk about their loss.
Help them to find their balance again
Ultimately, there’s a physical element of grief that most people ignore, and it’s how to affects your health. Those mourning tend to struggle with sleeping and eating disorders. As a body is a well-wired machine, everything is intimately connected. The mood impacts on the way you eat, and what you eat can influence your mood too. That’s why you can help a grieving friend by preparing for them healthy and mood-boosting meals. Something as simple as a breakfast with fortified whole-grain cereal can help address mental health issues. They are likely to have little appetite, but you can try to convince them to eat a warm quinoa salad at lunch, which helps to prevent depression.
In the end, you can’t erase the pain. But your actions can make it easier for those affected to deal with loss. Be the shoulder for their sorrows.