At Time of Loss - Listen with Your Heart

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Helping a Friend in Grief

A friend has experienced the death of someone loved. You want to help, but you are not sure how to go about it.

Listen with your heart.

Helping begins with your ability to be an active listener. Your physical presence and desire to listen without judging or offering solutions is important. Don’t worry so much about what you will say. Just concentrate on listening to what your friend is sharing with you.

Your friend may relate the same story about the death over and over again. Listen attentively each time. Realize this repetition is part of your friend’s healing process. Simply listen and try to understand.  Make it safe for your friend to talk to you.

To start a conversation with your friend, simply say:

  • “How are you feeling today?
  • “How is it going now that you are back at work?”
  • “I want to hear how you are feeling.  Can we talk?”
  • “Tell me …how I can help you right now?”

Information adapted from Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D, an expert in the grief field.

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