How to Help Someone Who Is Grieving

December 17, 2014 5:45 PM

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Consoling a grieving friend can feel a bit like trying to find your way around an unfamiliar city without a map. Despite the fact that death is something we must all experience, we avoid talking or thinking about our mortality as if by ignoring it we can make it disappear. Not until losing my mother to metastatic breast cancer earlier this year did I become all too familiar with the painful journey of grief. It is a difficult path. There is no Google map that can provide perfect guidance on how to support someone who is navigating loss. There are, however, some routes that are more effective than others. Based on my recent experience with loss, here are five suggestions on how to best help someone who is grieving.

1) Unconditional Communication -- Consistently Check in Without Expecting or Requesting a Response After my mom died I received hundreds of messages and calls from people sharing their memories of her and offering their heartfelt condolences. Receiving all of these messages felt like being held in a...

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