First 30 Days Blog

10 dec

How to Help a Loved One Who Has Lost a Parent

JennaSmithIt is never easy to lose someone you love, but it can seem especially hard when it is a parent. Parents help shape and contribute to so much of who we are as people that their loss seems to hit extra hard. At the holidays, loved ones will be missed even more and good friends will be needed to get you through. As a friend it may be difficult to know what to do, but a few ideas of how to help a friend grieve their parent can help.

One of the first tips is to realize there are specific stages to grief. There is no set way in the order that someone will go through them, or for how long each stage will last, but they will cycle through all of the stages at one point or another. Theses include:

· Denial and Isolation

· Anger

· Bargaining

· Depression

· Acceptance

You need to know that no one will grieve the same and taking the time to listen to what your friend needs will be important. Let them take the lead on this and tell you how to help. They may need someone to sit and listen, share memories with, or just talk to. Or you may find giving them practical help like running to the grocery store, making some food, or helping with house or yard work can be most beneficial.

Depending on how your friend is grieving, you may be able to do something creative with them to help them re-channel their grief into something positive. Asking them about some of the holiday traditions they did with their parents can be good, and maybe even participate in a tradition with them. Finding old photographs and repurposing them into a photo wreath, wall collage, or even a special scrapbook can be great for a good walk down memory lane.

Doing something completely special for your friend is great too. For a female friend you could take them out for a pampering day and get pomegranate or holiday spiced facials and spa treatments for under $50. For a guy friend maybe you could have an outdoor ATV day followed by some pizza and maybe bowling or watching a game on TV. If they tend to be a little more quiet or private in their grieving then sending them a special gift from someplace like In Time of Sorrow can warm their hearts and help them feel remembered. And depending on your or their personal beliefs, you can never underestimate the power of prayer.

Grief is difficult for anyone to deal with at any time, but especially at the holidays. As a friend to someone who is grieving a parent just remember to connect with them in some way. They will let you know what they need and how you can help. And no matter if it is a day out, a meal in, or them just knowing you are their being patient and encouraging with someone in the grief process is perhaps one of the greatest things you can do.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on December 10th, 2012 in Family, Health, Personal Stories, Relationships | 0 comments

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