How do you help a grieving friend?

When we talk about the skills needed to support a grieving friend, we’re not just talking about grief related to death. These are the kinds of skills we need for all of life’s hardships, from small everyday losses to life altering ones.

It’s so tempting to tell someone to look on the bright side, or suggest they “practice gratitude” or think about happier times. It’s harder – and so much more effective – to let their pain exist.


When you hear pain in the world, what are the sorts of things that jump immediately to your lips? Even with everything I know, my impulse is still something along the lines of “you’ve got this. This is hard, and you’ve got this.” Seems ok on the surface, but really? It’s just another way to dismiss someone’s pain.

Note: This video has subtitles in are Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, French, Norwegian, and English. Click the gear icon at the bottom of the video frame to turn on and select subtitles

Watch this video, then share it far and wide, on all your favorite platforms (be sure to tag @refugeingrief so we can see!). Working together, we can help everyone learn the skills they need to be kind, supportive, and amazing. Want more cool ways to change the whole culture into a sleek, compassionate love-machine? Join the Grief Revolution on Patreon.

And remember to check out the monthly Writing Your Grief e-course and online community – it’s the best place I know to be seen and heard inside your grief. We’ve got room for you.


How about you? What are your habitual responses? If you’ve got something you’re using instead – like, “I’m sorry to hear that. Want to tell me about it?” – let us know in the comments!