If you know someone who has recently been bereaved, you may be wondering how you can support them. People who are grieving struggle with many emotions as a result of their loss and often feel isolated and alone. Supporting someone mourning the loss of a loved one can be difficult—you may feel worried about getting in touch with them, or unsure of what to say, but your support can make all the difference.

So, in light of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day (10th October), we wanted to raise awareness of the effects of grief on people’s mental health and share advice on how to support someone going through grief.

Supporting those who are grieving

The days immediately after someone has died are likely to be a very emotional time for family and friends. The bereaved may feel shocked, confused, angry, and overwhelmed. 

At this time, it can be of great comfort to a grieving person to know their friends and family are there to offer care and support. Here’s how you can support a loved one who is grieving:

Stay in touch

You may find yourself avoiding talking to a friend or family member who is grieving, as you might be worried about saying the wrong thing. But keeping in touch will show you care and will make them feel supported and loved.

Here are some tips on getting in touch with someone who is grieving:

  • Thoughtful gestures such as inviting your friend or family member over for coffee or sending a text to say you’re thinking of them can be very supportive.
  • Send a card of condolences to them.
  • Check in on them regularly in-person or via text to show them you are there for support if needed.
  • If you knew the deceased, talk about some memories you have of them – this will be comforting for the bereaved.
  • Ask how they feel and let them take the lead in talking about their emotions if they wish to.
  • Invite them on days out with you.
  • Make future plans with them to show long-term support.

Offer practical assistance

A grieving person may not want to leave their house, or may feel tired and unmotivated, but they may feel like they are being a burden to others if they ask for help. So, offering them practical help can really show your support.

There are many practical ways you can offer a grieving person help, such as:

  • Go shopping for groceries for them.
  • Help them with funeral plans.
  • Help with housework, such as cleaning or laundry.
  • Help look after their children and do school runs.
  • Bring them cooked meals.
  • Help with insurance forms or bills.

Remember important dates

Managing social events and special occasions after a loved one has died—such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Mother's Day, or Father's Day—can trigger intense emotions for the bereaved. Remembering and offering support at these times can be very comforting.


One of the most helpful things you can do for a person who is grieving is simply listen. It may be difficult for them to talk about how they feel at first, so try not to push them to discuss their emotions or the deceased.

When they are ready to talk, listen to how they are feeling and offer them a safe space to talk openly. Understand that you can’t heal their grief, but by listening and caring, you can help them navigate their grieving process.

Need more advice?

Each person’s grief will be different, and what they need may change as the days, weeks, months, and years pass. But these gestures will show a bereaved person that you care, and that you are there to offer emotional and practical support throughout their grieving process.

If you know someone who is planning a Celebration of Life ceremony or Direct Cremation for a loved one, speak to one of our friendly team members who are available 24/7 to give you guidance and advice.

Call 0800 150 3555 or contact us on our website.

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