How do you comfort someone who lost someone during the holiday season? Losing someone during any time of the year can be difficult, but it’s even more tragic during the holidays when families and friends come together to celebrate life and love. Before you attempt to comfort your friend, it’s important to remember that each person grieves differently, so what works for you may not work as well for others, and no two losses are identical. Additionally, it may take some time before your friend is ready to talk about their loved one, so be patient when this happens.
Losing someone is one of the toughest things we can ever experience, but it’s especially hard during the holidays. It can be difficult to know what to say or do, but there are some simple ways you can show your support and help a grieving friend get through this difficult time. Although you may want to help in many ways – time may be the best way. Show your friends you have time for them by spending it with them. Whether that means coming over for coffee or going out for dinner, taking time out of your schedule will let them know they’re important and not just another obligation on your list. Remember to listen without judgment. When someone has just lost a loved one, they’ll need an outlet where they can share their grief without feeling like they’re being judged.
Ask if you can help
Every loss is different, and it’s important not to assume you know what your friend is going through. Here are some ways that you can help someone who lost a loved one before the holidays:
- Offer your support: sometimes, just being there is all they need. Running errands with them can be a huge help if they need to leave the house.
- Keep them company: just as we require physical touch from others, people in mourning also need emotional and social contact with others who care about them.
- Don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing or being too sad yourself: if you’re having trouble coping or knowing what to say, tell your friend it’s okay, and ask them what they might want from you right now.
Listening is perhaps the most important thing you can do
Knowing what to say to someone who has lost a loved one before the holidays can be challenging. You want them to know you care and that they are not alone, but you don’t want your words or gestures of support to feel like an intrusion. Remember, it’s not up to you as their friend or family member whether they should be happy or sad during this time. The best thing for you to do is listen. And if they need some space, give them some space. They may want to talk about how they feel to process their grief. However, there may come a point where talking isn’t enough—they may just need someone with them. Take any opportunity to show that you care by being there when they need it most and checking in with them every day until the holiday season is over!
Reach out for holiday celebrations
Reach out to your friend to do holiday things together. We know that this time of year can be difficult for those who have lost someone they cared about, so we want to remind you that reaching out is one way to show you care. If you’re unsure what kind of holiday things your friend would like to do, give them some space and ask them to tell you what they’re feeling up for. You might get an answer such as, “I want to spend Christmas in bed with my family, or I’d love it if someone could bake cookies with me.” It’s vital that everyone has their own process, and as long as there’s something your friend would be interested in doing together, there are ways for both of you to feel included. Something private as a gift exchange between the two of you could be just what they need. If you have some sympathy gift ideas to honor their loved one during the holiday season could also be the perfect touch to let your friend know that their loved one is still a part of it.
If someone has lost a loved one before the holidays, it can be hard for them to get into the holiday spirit. The best way to help your friend heal is by being there for them and letting them know they are not alone.