Maybe you are one of the extraordinary people who knows exactly what to do and say when someone’s world has been shaken by tragedy. I am grateful for you! For the other 99% of us, reaching out when a friend is hurting can feel awkward and uncomfortable! If you’re like me, you probably fear you’ll say or do the wrong thing.
During my family’s deepest times of loss, there were a couple ideas that made a giant impact. Here are my top two:
1) Show up. My dear friend Leslie has a unique ability to show up at the exact moment you need to feel the love. Rather than saying, “call if you need anything,” she’ll let you know, “your dinner is in the oven. Would you like it tonight or tomorrow night?”
I love how she doesn’t casually drop the ball in your court during a traumatic time when you really don’t know what you need. No, she shows up! Leslie brings something yummy, then hugs you around the neck. Her kindness speaks louder than 1000 words, letting you know you’re not conquering this giant by yourself.
2) Reach out. The Lord has a phenomenal way of giving us a holy nudge when we need it. Act on it! Reaching out doesn’t have to be extravagant – a text, call or card to let a friend know they haven’t been forgotten will always arrive at the perfect time.
And, when there are no words. “What do friends do? They show up. They share the pain; and they shut up. They don’t give pious platitudes. They don’t give advice. They don’t try to talk a friend out of his pain. They don’t say, ‘it’s going to be OK.’ They just say, ‘We’re going to sit here with you. We’re going to be here for you. We’re going to hurt with you.’” ~ Pastor Rick Warren
This article has more practical ideas for helping a grieving friend. Also, consider passing this link to your friend. The Grief Survivor 8 day reading plan will encourage them to write, reflect and remember priceless stories about their loved one.