Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Helping A Friend Coping With A Loss


Recommended Posts


I found this website when I was searching for ways to help a good friend with the loss of her mother. Her mother was in her late 60s when she past away this May. We were expecting her to past away because she had cancer and were fighting it for the past 2 years. Well, my friend is 59 years old and having a tough time dealing with it. It was grieving, but I think it turned in depression. Since June she has been in and out of the hospital 3 times because she wasn't eating. She was found on the floor at her house, so she was rushed to the hospital. Every time she was admitted to the mental hospital because she wasn’t taking care of herself; however, after 3 weeks or so, she was discharge to go home. She has been in and out of the hospital 3 times already.

Things are getting worse for her because she has not been working since June, so her employer just terminated her. She isn’t keeping up with her bills either so her car was repossessed. In addition, her father is 74 years old and has a bad back. He had surgery in June, but his body rejected the hardware, so he isn’t doing well either. With no car, she can’t visit her father nor is she in the mood to get out of the house. She locks herself in the house and I’m not sure what I can do or say to her. I am taking dinner over to her whenever I can and sit in silences with her, but I’m not sure if it’s helping. I suggested getting professional help, but she isn’t open to that right now. She just wants to lock herself in the house. I don’t know what to do because this type of situation makes me uncomfortable. I have never had to comfort anybody with a loss of someone. Please help and guide me, so I can help a friend.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Paul ~ How good of you to be looking for ways to help your friend ~ but given the complicated situation you describe, I think it's also important to recognize that her needs may be beyond your capacity to help. You say you've suggested professional counseling for your friend "but she isn't open to that right now." Whether she is open to it or not, it's still important that you encourage her to do it. Still, even when you know your suggestion is the "right" one, you simply cannot force another person to do what you think is best for her ~ and you cannot expect yourself to fill the role of being her therapist as well as her friend. Since she's been hospitalized a number of times and "admitted to a mental hospital because she was not taking care of herself," I assume that means she was under the care of a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, not all mental health professionals are educated, trained and experienced in understanding grief and offering grief support, so I think the best you can do is to encourage your friend to ask her doctor for a referral to someone who specializes in grief therapy. In the meantime, you might also find these articles helpful:

Helping Another in Grief

Common Myths, Misconceptions about Grief

What Is Not Helpful to the Person in Mourning

Words of Comfort

Words to Avoid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for those articles. They are very helpful. I know it's beyond my capacity to help, but I still have to do what I can right now. She will be ready one day and I will help her seek professional help when she is ready. Like you said, I can't force her right now, so I will just have to do what I can and wait for her. I just hope she will get better soon. For now, I can visit her and sit with her, so she knows i'm there when she is ready. Again, thank you for your suggestions and those articles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

This is a little off the beaten path but what about a grieving gift? I have actually done them several times and have found that it has helped tremendously. Maybe the comfort of having a part of her mother with her all the time will help. I know there are several companies out there - I have experience with one and will attach the link. I have ordered from them several times and they were very helpful. Sometimes I think the comfort that we gain from being close to a loved one, especially a mom, is what we are really craving. I'm not saying it is the end all and be all for her but it might be a jump start in the right direction. You are obviously a very warm and loving friend - don't give up on her!

cremation memorial jewelry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...