Funerals are never easy—not for the families of the decedent or the family's friends. It's such a sensitive time, and it's difficult to know what to say to someone who's just lost a loved one. If your friend is experiencing grief over a loss, here are some tips on what to say and how to behave.
How to Talk to a Grieving Friend
1. Don't Minimize the Loss
It's unfortunate that, when they're uncertain how to comfort a friend, many people attempt to minimize the loss. They say things like, "It could be worse" or "Everything happens for a reason." These friends' hearts may be in the right place, but telling a friend there's a reason for what happened or that worse things could have happened simply minimizes the grief that person is feeling. Instead, express your understanding of how painful the loss is and how hard it must be to contend with.
Many times, you don't have to say anything at all. You can often comfort someone simply by being a good listener. Let your friend share their feelings with you without judgment or comment. Encourage them to share stories about the deceased and, if you have stories as well, share your own. Sharing memories is one of the best ways to honor a decedent and helping their survivors cope.
3. Offer Help
When someone loses a close friend or family member, they are often unable to handle even simple, everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning, let alone the added burden of planning a funeral service. Do what you can to help. Prepare a meal, stop by to clean the house, or offer to drive your friend around on errands. Offer strong support, but don't force them to accept your help if they don't want it. Some people need time to grieve alone.
To schedule funeral or cremation services with an experienced, dignified funeral director, contact Porto Funeral Homes. With two locations in New Haven County, they've been serving local families for nearly 90 years and provide a sturdy shoulder and compassionate guidance in your time of grief. Visit their website to location details and directions or call (203) 934-5000 to reach their West Haven location or (203) 467-3000 for East Haven.