STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

How to Support Your Friend in Grief

Joined: 4/9/2015
Posts: 19
It’s often hard to find the right words to say or things to do when your loved one is in the middle of grieving. You may be afraid of making the person feel worse with inappropriate words or actions, or perhaps you think that there is little you can do to make things better.

It’s easy to feel lost about how to help a grieving person. Nevertheless, while you can’t take all pain of loss away, you can give much-needed support and comfort. There are many different ways to help a friend in grief, but letting the person know that you care is the first and most essential step.

The death of close friend or relative is one of the most stressful experiences in life. The person who is mourning struggles with many other intense emotions such as depression, guilt or even anger. Very often, the person grieving feels alone in his/her sorrow, so having someone to lean on can help them go through this painful process.
Know that now, more than ever, he or she needs your support and don’t let embarrassment deprive you of the opportunity to reach out to someone in grief. That’s normal when you don’t know exactly what to do. The most important thing is simply to be there because support and care will help your friend to cope with the pain and begin to heal.

Here is a list of few helpful ideas about how to help a grieving person without intruding on their privacy.

1. What to do:

• Stay in touch. Of course, it’s hard to find the right words to say to a person who is grieving, so the best way is to say nothing but simply be near. For example, you can let the person know that you’re here by texting messages like: “Hope, you’re ok. I’m going to call you, but if you don’t feel like talking, please don’t pick up the phone. Just know you can count on me.” Using phrases like “it’ll be better” are quite risky because they can invalidate your friend’s pain by forcing him/her to feel better when he/she can't do that. A grieving person needs time to be upset and not to be judged for that.Acknowledge their loss. Remind your friend that he/she is loved and be more sensitive on important days. Send a message, card or flowers just to let them know you are thinking about them and that you care. Keep doing these things even after person in grief seems like they are doing ok. Try to sense if he/she wants you close or needs space. Moreover, it’s definitely normal to ask them what they want.

2. What not to do:

• Say “call me if you need my help”. No matter how good your intentions are, it’s unlikely your friend will call, because sometimes a grieving person hardly knows what he/she needs in this period. Instead, try to show in active ways how you can help. For example, come and walk the dog, water the plants or offer your babysitting services. Remember, everyone grieves in different ways, so make every effort to anticipate his/her individual needs.
• Tell them how to feel or act. If you have advice that may be helpful, start with “Maybe you could try…” or “Have you thought about…”. But never talk up what your friend must do.
Too often society treats a grieving person like a kid, and people are too afraid to speak about the loss. When this happens, a grieving person can be left with the feeling of isolation and loneliness, when he/she needs friends the most. Just be near and offer a silver lining to cut through the darkness of loss.

About the Author: vivien Smith is a journalist and a blogger at who is interested in psychology and relationships. She attended the University of Texas (Dallas). In her spare time, she also works as a freelance writer at several companies.
Rate this:
Comment by christine92

Joined: 3/16/2018
Posts: 8
good advice, isn't it?
Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:50:03 PM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for singles that allows those living on their own the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Explore our blogging contests for singles, statistics about being single, quotes about being single, and other resources about the single life here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Creative Writing and Language Arts Resources.

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy