How on earth do I support a loved one who is grieving?

As a grief coach and grief educator, I get this question a lot. More importantly as someone who has been on both sides. I understand all too well the dilemma, whether that be the supporter or the one being supported through grief.


Have you received that call? You know that call. You find out your friend has lost their parent, partner, child, or friend, and you have no idea what to say, what to do and you are so afraid you will be that friend who does it all wrong. Then, the dread of watching their heart and soul shatter and you feel helpless.

Oh, how I understand. I have been there so many times over the last several years. Friends who lost their child, partner, or my daughter who lost her fiancé and the love of her life.  As a mom, you fix all the 'boo boos' when they were children, or you try. Not this time.  Not this one. There is nothing that can fix this soul-crushing pain.

First, let me say this to the supporter. We all say things that are not helpful. We do not want our loved ones to hurt. I am right there with you! Do not worry. Sadly, you cannot fix their pain and that is ok. Be present! If you say, “ I am here for you” then you better be there for them. Sit with your loved one and listen.

Top tips

Big ears, little mouth! Listen more than you speak. 

Think practical

Laundry and dishes do not do themselves. Children need to be cared for, right? Do that! Whatever you can do to lighten the load of their normal daily activities.

Let them share

If they are grieving the loss of a loved one through death and are sharing stories about that person, be ok with this. Let them share. Remember, this is about them, not you. This may sound harsh as I know how painful it can be to hear stories of those who have passed on, but this is healing for your loved one. Let them share, then seek a healthy outlet to release your pain.

To the one who is grieving, I see you

It hurts like hell. I get it. Your loved ones are trying. They will screw up. Give grace to them. Then, I suggest you rant to your best friend, your therapist, coach, etc…You will need a healthy release.

This is your journey and sometimes all you can do is breathe in and out. Perhaps treat yourself to a shower or bath. Then, when you are able to lift your head, look around and grab hold of the support you need so you can learn how to create a life of passion and purpose around your pain.

Grief comes in many forms

  • death
  • divorce
  • parental alienation
  • job/career
  • pet
  • community
  • friendships
  • and more

Let us remember this, we are imperfect humans. However, if meet each other where we are at, listen more than we speak, support and love the best way we can and in a way that helps others, what a beautiful thing that is.

You got this!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Market Harborough, LE16
Written by Holistic Life Coaching with Lisa Marie, International Certified & Accredited Life & Grief Coach- APC
Market Harborough, LE16

I am a mother of two adult daughters. I am a Certified and Accredited International Life Coach. I specialise in Personal Development and Grief Coaching. I am a Certified Grief Educator.
I help clients rebuild, transform and take action to create the life they desire and deserve.

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