There are many things you can do to assist a bereaved person. These include:
Be available. Sometimes, grieving people do not want to talk or listen, nor do they
want you to talk or listen. They simply want you to be there for them. Silence is
OK if that is what the bereaved individual wants at the moment.
Allow the grieving person the full range of his or her emotions. This includes anger
and bitterness, which may be sometimes expressed against the healthcare providers,
God, or even the loved one who has died.
Be patient and understanding, but not patronizing. Do not claim to know how the other
person is feeling. Do not force the person to talk or share feelings if he or she
does not want to.
Do not be concerned about mentioning the deceased person's name or sharing a fond
memory of the person while in the company of the bereaved. They, too, are thinking
about the deceased person. It is acceptable and natural to bring the name into conversation.
Remember that grieving takes time and is a natural human process. No matter how much
you want to "stop the hurt," bereaved people must go through the grieving process.
Allow them to grieve and care for them as they move through the process.