top of page
Happy multiracial senior women having fun together outdoor - Elderly generation people hug
Supporting Friends in Grief

Don't wait for a bereaved survivor to ask for help.  When you are made aware of the death, attempt to make contact and lend your support and listening ear.  Be respectful if they do not wish to discuss the situation. Be patient and willing to hear the same stories or concerns repeatedly. Acknowledge sentimental days by calling or sending a card, The gesture shows your support and ongoing love for your friend and appreciation of their loss.

Ways to consider helping a bereaved survivor:
  • Offer practical help - Most everyone they speak with will say "how can I help" or "let me know if I can help."  Be prepared to deliver on your offer.  If the grieving survivor doesn't feel like they can manage the tasks of various people, volunteer to be a point-of-contact person.  You can match up willing friends/family/co-workers/church members/neighbors/etc. with tasks needing done.  Consider doing childcare or transportation for the kids or to/from the airport transportation for out of town guests.  Who is going to grocery shop or take care of the pets and water your yard?  Be direct and ask them exactly what needs to be taken care of.  

  • Be authentic.  You may be uncomfortable having a conversation about a suicide death.  It is better to say that you are learning your way through the conversation than giving false, yet well-intended advice.  Allow them to know that you are willing and able to witness their pain and grief.  

  • Make yourself available immediately and often.  Those that have survived a suicide death may feel the stigma and isolation of the manner of death.  They need to know that they have the same support as in any other type of death.  

  • Say the loved one's name.  They will tell you if it makes them uncomfortable.  Quite often, it is just the opposite and provides reassurance that their loved one's life mattered and others remember them.  

bottom of page