How to Comfort a Grieving Person

Allow the person to talk about his grief and express his feelings. Listen without offering advice or interrupting.
Be patient with the grieving person's changeable moods. It's normal for someone who is grieving to alternate between anger, sadness, numbness and acceptance.
Give the person as much time as he needs to grieve. Telling him to 'get over it' or 'let it go' won't help him grieve any faster.
Ask the bereaved what you can do to help. Try not to get frustrated if he doesn't know what he needs.
Offer suggestions of what you could do to help. For example, does the grieving person need more space? Does he want you to be around more? Are there tasks or errands he needs done?
Show affection such as hugs or handholding if the bereaved seems receptive. If he seems uninterested in affection, try not to get irritated - this will pass with time.
Encourage the grieving person to join a grief support group. He can call his doctor for a referral or look in the community service section of the yellow pages for grief support services.
Urge the grieving person to get professional help if he's so depressed that he's unable to function day to day. Assist him in setting up an appointment with a doctor to discuss counseling or possible medication.


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