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Wanting to Help, But How?

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people,” (Isaiah 40:1)

January 16, 2018

Dear Julie:

What can I do for a friend who lost her husband eight months ago? She is so sad and lonely but she seems to pull back whenever I try to get her out of the house. Shouldn’t she be getting over her loss by now? –Wanting to help, but how?
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Dear Wanting to help:

Like so many of us, you want to help a grieving friend but aren’t sure how to go about it. Though there are many predictable stages of grief, everyone processes them differently. Therefore, there is no predictable timeline. Eight months may not be nearly long enough for your friend. Many people think it takes a full year to process the loss (each missed birthday, Christmas, Independence Day, etc.) I’ve been told by a grief counselor that the second year is often the most difficult. Some need longer. Some never truly recover.

Be gracious to your friend. Give her what she needs, not what you think she needs. If she wants to stay in, let her. If she is willing to include you, give her that. If she needs to express anger, give her that freedom without judging her. If she needs to sit and contemplate, don’t say a word unless asked.

You might mention to her that many people have found help and healing through the Grief Share program. Go to their their website at <www.griefshare.org> for more information and to find a group meeting near you.

It’s hard to watch a loved one grieve. Be a true friend and stick by her. “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). God bless, Julie

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Remember, friends, as challenges come our way, we can face them head-on through Christ who strengthens us!

If you wish Bible-based advice for a challenge you face, contact me here (NOT below in the Comment box) and I’ll answer confidentially on this page. No one will see your name or any other identifying information.

2 Responsesto “Wanting to Help, But How?”

  1. Sheila Frazier says:

    HI, I am a widow since 12/1985. It took me over 10 years to release my grief from the loss of my husband.

    Give her room. Allow her the space. Ensure you spend time with her and listen to her. I would have loved to have friends hang out with me while I was going through my grieving. Ensure she is eating enough. When she is ready, she will return to going out. It is a difficult change in one’s life when we lose a loved one. Pray for her. Don’t abandon her just because she won’t go out of her home. Walk beside her as she allows you too.

    I felt like I was alone in my grieving. No one came around to check on me. I walked alone. Don’t let your friend be alone in her grief. Check on her often and allow her the space she needs. She will return to life, just needs time to adjust to being a widow.

    God Bless,
    Sheila Frazier

  2. Julie Admin says:

    Dear Sheila,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Your testimony is important and is a reminder to all of us to be more sensitive to our widows. I’m sorry you experienced such loneliness in your grieving.

    God bless you,
    Julie

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