How Can I Help When There’s A Death?

Question: Dear Luise: My best friend’s grandma died the other day and I don’t know how to help her. (We are in high school if that changes anything).  What are some little things I can do for her?  Please respond ASAP. L.

Answer: Dear L: That’s a hard question because some people want help and some don’t.  What I do, unless it’s clear that there’s a wish to be left alone, is to offer to spend one-on-one time with the person.

You can ask your friend if she would like that and then ask her if she’d like to talk about her grandma. This soon after death, talking about her will probably bring tears but it often still helps. You can ask her if she has any pictures of them together and offer to frame one for her or to help her make an album.

If your friend expresses regret regarding her behavior make sure she knows that her grandma understands that she is human and loves her very much. Most of us look back when we lose someone and wish we had done some things differently and need to be reminded that perfection just isn’t an option.

The most important thing to express is love because that is what appears to have been lost. If your friend wants to see a movie…that might give her a chance to think of something else for while and you could go with her.

Most of all it’s a time to be sensitive to mood swings and just put up with them as best you can because it’s a lot for her to get used to and she probably hasn’t had much experience facing and working through loss.

Knowing that you care is a priceless gift…don’t forget that. Blessings, Luise

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