Judy Field

Counselling in Harrogate, North Yorkshire


Four Ways To Support Someone Who Is Grieving

23rd January 2022

If a friend, partner, or family member has lost someone close to them, it can be hard to know what to say or do. Of course, everyone does their best, and always means well, but sometimes we can unknowingly make people feel worse about their situation. Supporting someone who is grieving is a delicate, challenging process, so if you are in this situation and need some pointers about what to do and not do, this blog post walks you through four pointers that are useful to keep in mind.

Listen More, Speak Less

It can be tempting to try and “say the right thing”, but this often backfires. You should generally avoid making suggestions about what your bereaved loved one should or shouldn’t do. While these snippets are always delivered with the best intentions, they can often cause the person more distress.

In the same way, trying to explain or contextualise the loss – saying things like “they’re in a better place now” – is far less useful than simply displaying basic empathy, acknowledging that this must be a hard time for them and giving that person the space to vocalise their feelings.

Accept Mood Swings

Keep in mind that a grieving person can often oscillate between different moods quite quickly. They may be extremely talkative at one moment, then go quiet all of a sudden. This is a normal part of the grieving process, and it is important that you are able to cope – and lean into – these rapid changes in mood. Someone may just want to sit in silence for a while, or perhaps they need you to listen to what’s on their mind. Whatever state they are in, being able to handle that person’s emotions is such an important form of support.

Offer Practical Support

Reaching out to give practical support is an extremely helpful thing for someone who is grieving. The person who has died may have handled certain roles that are now the sole responsibility of your loved one, causing them additional stress. On top of that, grief makes it hard to stay on top of the minutiae of everyday life, so take some time to offer your helping hand in whatever they might need. This could include helping with children or pets, cleaning, assisting with meals, accompanying them on certain outings, or giving them a place to stay – especially if they live alone.

Don’t Assume They Have “Moved On”

As an experienced bereavement counsellor in Harrogate and online, I know that one of the biggest misconceptions people have around loved ones dying is that there is some kind of ‘timescale’ on how long they grieve for. Not everyone grieves in the same way, and some people can start struggling a long time after the fact. As a result, never assume that they are okay because a certain amount of time has passed. Check in on them regularly; ask how they are feeling about the bereavement and if there’s anything you can do to help.

 

Along with these above pieces of advice, it is worth suggesting to your loved one whether they have considered counselling in Harrogate or online. I offer a safe, friendly, strictly confidential space where they can speak freely about their situation and receive the targeted professional support they need.

Get in Touch

To find out more about Individual CounsellingBereavement Therapy, Remote Counselling or my other services, you can contact me on 07855 059 964. Due to the nature of my work, I am not always available to answer the phone – please leave a voicemail message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Appointments now available for in-person sessions, with social distancing in place. My therapy room is well ventilated and cleaned between each client session.

Most of the time I am able to offer you your first therapy session within a few days of your initial enquiry.

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Thursday: 8am to 9pm

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Opening Hours

I am able to offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 9am to 3pm

Sunday: Closed

Opening Hours

I am able to offer daytime and evening appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

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