All of us in the El Cerrito, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Pinole, and El Sobrante communities have been touched by loss. Even if you haven’t lost someone very close to you, you probably love someone who has. So, what happens when a friend is in the grips of grief? It can be hard to know what to do, especially if death isn’t something you’ve experienced on a very personal level. That’s why our caring staff at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary have put together some tips for you if you have a friend who is reeling from grief:

1.) Be present.

You might think your friend wants to be alone right after a loss, and they might. But they also might need you and are afraid to ask for help. Be with them and listen to their pain. Be sure to attend the funeral. The family has taken tremendous time to plan a meaningful tribute, and we have seen time and again how much it means when you show your support by attending.

2.) Be honest.

Don’t offer meaningless platitudes that might not be true. Instead, share your feelings with them in an open and transparent way, and encourage them to do the same. Don’t be afraid to bring up their loved one. It will help them to know how much they meant to you too.

3.) Be specific.

Your friend is under a lot of strain. In the midst of their pain, they’re having to deal with some very practical details like making funeral arrangements – especially if their loved one didn’t leave a will or plan ahead. When you offer them help, be specific in the assistance you offer.

For example, you could say, “I am going to bring you dinner one day this week. What day works best for you?”

4.) Be thoughtful.

Your friend’s grief isn’t going to just disappear after a short time. Think of them in the months to come and especially during the holidays. You might offer to visit their loved one’s grave with them on the six-month anniversary of their passing or send them a note on their family member’s birthday.

Most of all, it’s important your friend knows you’re there for them…always. Be sure to let them know there are resources available to them, including our knowledgeable staff at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary. We see it as part of our mission to help the grieving move towards healing, which is why we provide aftercare resources for our families.

Has a friend ever been there for you during a hard time that made a difference? Share your story with us in the comments below.