How to help someone through grief
During Sorry Time or when a person you know has had a loss, sometimes it can help to ask if they’re okay. It’s important to look after yourself and know your limits too. If you feel up to it, you can help someone by:
- Asking them how they’re going.
- Be there for them and listen when they need to talk.
- Asking the person how you can help.
- Suggest they talk to someone who knows about grief and loss. Help them to find someone to talk to, but only if they want to.
It is not helpful to pressure people who are grieving:
- Don’t tell people how to feel.
Remember grief is different for everyone.
- Don’t tell people what they should do.
Different things work for different people.
Sorry Time for kids and times of grief are hard for everyone. It is important to consider the child’s age, experience and what is right for the child’s family. Some of these things can help kids to understand their feelings and help them to heal:
- To be with and talk to people they know and trust.
- To be given time, reassurance and permission to grieve.
- To be included in ceremonies and allowed to go to funerals where appropriate. Kids need to say goodbye too.
- To understand what’s happening – try to be honest with kids so they feel less confused and scared.
- To have plenty of rest and eat healthy food so they feel good physically.
- Exercise and spending time outdoors are good ways to clear the head.
- To express their feelings and their grief, maybe through practising culture, art, sport, writing, music or dance.