Contrary to what many people believe, or rather practice, feeling grief upon losing a close friend or someone you have known for a while is actually a healthy response. When people try to shove their feelings away upon experiencing such a loss, they are actually paving the way to a greater damage that will unfold itself with time in the future. Such emotions are usually complex to process but it is extremely important that one take the time to do so.
Dealing with such emotions by yourself can be pretty confusing and often times having a friend around that is close to you and has been through other hardships of life with you can work to ease the process.
But what do you do when your friends aren’t around? Due to the pandemic, travel has been banned or at least restricted in many parts of the world. This has caused many people to connect with their loved ones using the various means the internet has to offer but providing support to a friend who has lost someone isn’t all that simple. It takes a lot of effort and one must know how to maneuver a conversation the right way in order to provide the right kind of support and not inflict any kind of damage unknowingly.
Here are a few things you can do for a friend from a distance who has recently lost a loved one:
Reach Out to Them
Due to whatever reason you are not able to go see your friends – whether they live hundreds of miles apart or in a different country altogether – you can always take the initiative to make calls and see how they are doing. In such a case it is crucial to keep in mind that you might not receive a response right away or even after trying a couple of times but you must not give up. People who are grieving are usually going through a lot and might not always be available to take your calls. Be it emotionally or physically, many a times, grieving people are pre-occupied with a lot of chores or emotions and hence may seem unavailable but they are the ones who need to hear from a friend the most.
Try reaching out a different times of the day or better yet, send them a text message asking when would be a good time to call and you might get a definitive answer right away as many people prefer not to speak on the phone without actually having prepared themselves for it first. The point is to be there for them however they feel comfortable so do your best in trying to be a friend in need.
Get In Touch With Their Close Friends and Family
One very underrated yet effective method to be there for a friend you cannot visit is to get in touch with their close friends and family members. Why is this such a great method to help? Many people who are grieving lose the ability to communicate effectively especially over the phone or the internet and as such may not be able to respond to your calls or texts no matter who much they want to. It is rather a common occurrence for grieving people to not reach out for help or accept any support due to the deep despair they are in and usually tend to cut themselves off in such times.
Even if they tell you how they’re doing they might be saying that just to put your mind at ease and might be lying about their true feelings. This is when staying in touch with their close friends and family members come in handy. They will be able to accurately communicate your friend’s status to you as seeing how they are only making surface-level conversation with you due to the weight of their grief they are clearly not being upfront about their grief with you.
Send them Cremation Jewelry and Other Presents
Sending someone presents is a great way to know you are thinking about them and care for them from the deepest corners of your heart. When you send a grieving friend cremation jewelry such as pendants for ashes or cremation jewelry bracelets, you are not only sending them a gift but you are sending them something they can use to honor the memory of their loved ones and always have it close to them.
This not only makes for a great gift but it also shows that you care about their emotional needs and are truly a friend indeed. You can of course send other presents such as a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates but nothing says timeless like ashes jewelry that can have on them at all times which not only will memorialize their loved ones but will also remind them of how you were there for them at a time of need even though you could not make it to them in person.
Speak from the Heart
When you speak to your friend get them to try and open up about what exactly happened to the person they lost and how it has affected their relationship for them. Believe it or not, this is actually a very important part of the healing process as talking about it allows the grieving individual to get a perspective on their emotions from an external point of view which will in turn help them understand their own feelings better.
However, in this case it important to keep in mind not to say blunt things that might hurt them such as cliché phrases like “they are now in a better place” or “God always takes away the ones he loves the most from us”. If you can’t find anything to say just be a good listener or be honest about how you feel and say something like “I can’t fathom what you must be going through but I’m always here for you no matter the time of day”. This will not only let them know you’re there for them but will also give them the confidence that you won’t be saying unnecessary things to them just because they sound good or because those are the things people say when they don’t know how to comfort someone who is grieving.
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