Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

At a Loss for Words (For Once)

Jul 17, 2012 by Victoria Noe, in friends , Friendship , Grief , loss
Let’s say someone you know is grieving a friend’s death.

Let’s say you didn’t know their friend, but you know they were close.

And let’s say you want to be supportive in their time of grief.

Where do you start?

If you’re like many people – maybe even most people – you may find yourself at a loss for words. I’ve seen people who normally talk a mile a minute be absolutely tongue-tied at the thought of supporting someone who’s grieving.

They might mumble, “I’m sorry for your loss.” And then what?

If you ask people who grieve, they will tell you how much they value the support of others. When it’s a friend who has died, rather than a family member, they are particularly grateful to those who recognize the gravity of the loss.

Then what?

Here are a couple of ideas of how you can support someone who’s lost a friend:

-Shut up and let them talk. Don’t compare your own experience, unless they ask. Give them a safe place to share their grief.

-Ask them about their friend. They might not want to talk about it, but again, you’re giving them a safe place to share if they do.

Can you think of any other things you can do?

What did someone do for you when you were grieving a friend that you wish everyone would do (or not)?