July 10, 2013

Supporting a Bereaved Friend

Your friend has been caring for her elderly father for a year and he has died. Now, more than ever, is the time to support your friend. She is experiencing a deep loss, but as her friend there are ways for you to help her.

Talk to your friend.

It may seem so simple, but sometimes a long conversation over a cup of coffee is one of the best ways for your friend to feel normal. She may not open up at first, but be patient and ask her questions. Ask her how and what she is feeling. Reassure her that her feelings of loss are normal and that you are there for her.

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Encourage your friend to seek a support group.

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro’s (HPCG) Counseling and Education Center (CEC) offers support groups for the bereaved. Your friend may be hesitant to speak in front of others about her grief, but a group can remind your bereaved friend that she is not alone; there are others in similar situations as hers.

Talk to your friend about one-on-one grief counseling.

If a support group is not the right setting for your friend, she may be more receptive to one-on-one grief counseling. The professional, licensed staff of the CEC can provide one-on-one counseling to your friend as well as her family members. This service is offered at no cost to your friend.

Being supportive is the most important thing you can do for your friend right now. Remind her that you are there for her and want to help. For more information about grief counseling offered by HPCG, please call the CEC at 336.621.5565.