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Knowing how to help someone who is grieving can be tricky. Whether you have a bereaved friend or family member, there are many ways you can help them navigate the grieving process.
If you want to learn more about how the grieving person in your life is likely to be feeling, the Grief Australia's fact sheets provide some insight.
The important thing to remember is that feelings of grief and loss are highly individual and personal experiences. Everyone grieves in their own way and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to grieve. There is also no set timeline to grief, as this is going to differ from person to person.
We do not always know how a bereaved person feels simply by what we see. While some people are open and expressive with their grief (this can include crying and wanting to talk), others are more private. In some cases, people may be reluctant to talk and prefer to keep busy.
Other factors, such as culture, gender and belief systems can also influence the ways people grieve. It’s important to respect each other’s way of grieving, even if we don’t necessarily understand it.
You can always help by being there for the person who is grieving. They may just need you as a source of comfort, or they may be able to share their thoughts, feelings and stories with you. Alternatively, they may just need you to do mundane tasks, like run errands for them.
If you feel they are struggling, you may suggest they seek medical advice to see if they can speak to a counsellor or another mental health professional.
Grief Australia has launched the world’s first online resource, specifically designed to support people who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
The MyGrief app provides helpful information, tools and resources. There are also practical strategies for families and friends on how to provide the right support for someone who is grieving. Learn more.
If you aren't sure how to support someone who is grieving, the Centre for Care & Wellbeing may help.
Learn more about our support services or contact us directly.