Four ways to help a friend deal with grief

How can you help a friend who’s numb with grief over the loss of a loved one and at times takes her anger out on you?

You can help your friend deal with her grief with any of the following activities:

1. Physical activity is a wonderful way to channel anger and refocus. You and your friend might make a date to take a weekly walk together in the evening or sign up for an exercise class together. You might need to arrange to pick her up to make sure it happens.

2. Music and other artistic expressions can be helpful. Does your friend sing or play a musical instrument? Do you enjoy creative pursuits such as painting, pottery, or scrapbooking? You might make a date to work on a project together, something you’re both familiar with, or something new for you both to learn.

3. Sometimes the best way to help heal is to help others. When you can't seem to help yourself, seeing how your efforts can make a difference in someone else's life is very uplifting. Volunteering can be a wonderful distraction.

4. Your friend might need more than you to discuss her grief. Is there a community or religious organization that has a support group? You can do an online search to see what’s available in your area. Even if your friend is not a member of a specific faith, they might be very willing to have her attend.

Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle StoreClick here to order.

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Comment by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 14, 2009 at 1:32pm
Those were very thoughtful things to do, Georgia. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Comment by Georgia on June 13, 2009 at 1:54am
I received a message at my husbands grave which gave me a good feeling that someone cared enough to go to the cemetery. also someone put up a long line of roses at my Daughter grave. Both helped the grieving.
Comment by Susan W Reynolds on June 5, 2009 at 3:49pm
Another way which I am partial to doing is the unexpected surprises that land upon the griever's doorstep. They do not have to know whom left the note, or item, all they need to know is that someone is there thinking of them.
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