walking alongside you

How to help a grieving friend...

Last week a friend of mine lost her second son ~ he passed away at 5 days old.  My friend is the mother of three children; 2 of them live in Heaven.  
Her heart is broken...

As I was reflecting on ways to best be there for her I thought it would be a good idea to write a few thoughts I have on helping grieving friends.

The first thing I do with any sad and grieving friend is allow them to be whatever they are in the moment.  That could be anything from remorseful, angry or full of despair.  The grief could have a grip on them or they could be at a peacefully calm moment.  I will not try to say the "right words" to bring them out of any emotion that they are feeling.  

Avoid using any platitudes ~ sometimes these cliche "answers" or phrases are just plain hurtful.  I know that we are full of good intentions; we are just trying to help.  It can be so exhausting to muddle through the words to the intentions.  When someone is in the throws of grief there is little emotional room to work through the words.
Allowing our friends the room to feel whatever they are feeling can be really uncomfortable.  We may feel sad ourselves ~ we may want to run from our own emotions.  Be willing to be uncomfortable.  Be willing to be sad.  Remember that we cannot, nor should we, take away the pain.  This is their journey ~ we just have the privilege of joining them in it.