Do’s and Don’ts When Caregiving for a Grieving Person

by 122+ Ways To Care Well, Death0 comments


  •  Start off the conversations with “I’ve been thinking about you.” or “How are you doing today?”
  • Offer to help with a specific task.  Take the time to call the grieving person, and listen for what their needs might be.
  • “Be there” for the person.  Be comfortable with shared silence, your presence alone will be comforting to the grieving person.
  • Listen using the 80/20 rule.  Listen 80% of the time and talk 20%.  Both you and the mourner will benefit from this.
  • Listen to the mourner’s story and allow them to share their memories.


  • Suggest to the person that they are “doing so well or looking so good.”  Allow them to tell you how they are doing.
  • Suggest or say to the griever “I know just how you feel.”  Each persons grief is unique to them.  Allow the person to share how they are feeling.
  • Say, “Call me if you need anything.”  Think of something appropriate to do and follow through.
  • Tell the mourner what they should do.  Doing that could make them feel incompetent and your advice might not be what they need.
  • Delegate the work to others.  Your presence and caring will make a difference.
  • Use cliches such as “God works in mysterious ways” or “there are other fish in the sea”.
  • Suggest a timetable for their grief.  The mourner will decide when the time is right to  give away possessions or start dating.
  • Talk about your own losses and how you adapted from them.
Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.