There are many heartfelt and useful ways to help someone who just lost a loved one. Here are eight ways to provide immediate comfort:

1. Be There

The most important thing you can do is be present. Don’t stay away because you are afraid you may say or do the wrong thing.

2. Go to the Service

There is no substitute for your physical presence. It sends an invaluable message of support. If you live too far away to make a personal visit, call or write to express your sympathy.

3. Share your Genuine Sorrow

Don’t worry about what to say, just share from your heart.

4. Listen

Most importantly, the bereaved want to be heard. Just listen, and let them tell you about their loss.

5. Share a Memory

Reminisce and tell a fond memory about the person who died. Your friend wants to talk about his or her loved one. Your recollection of the deceased will be a wonderful gift.

6. Cry. It’s okay to cry

The family can find comfort in knowing you are sad too. Your tears show you care about the family and their loved one.

7. Smile and Laugh

It’s okay to laugh. There is a myth that laughter is not appropriate at time of loss. However, a friendly smile or laugh can ease the pain. Memories about the loved one can include times when he or she made others smile, laugh or just feel good.

8. Use Appropriate Physical Contact

When words fail, put your arm around your friend’s shoulder or give a hug. Actions can speak instead of words.


COPYRIGHT 2011, With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, LLC.