- 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.