How friends can help

If one of your friends has been bereaved, you may have a mixture of feelings. You might feel sorry for them, you might feel relieved for them, you might feel frightened or sad yourself and you might not be sure how to help.

Here are some things which a group of bereaved young people suggested might be helpful for friends to do. Remember that what they want might change as time goes on. Your support will help, although it may not always appear so.

To my friend please….

  1. Be yourself and be my friend – even if you do not know what to do or say. Just knowing you are there helps me.
  2. Ask me how I am feeling – even though I may not always be able to tell you.
  3. Talk to me about getting back to school. Meeting me somewhere each day might help.
  4. Ask me if I want to talk about what has happened and do not worry if I get upset, it helps knowing you care.
  5. Give me a break if I’m acting a bit strangely. I am feeling confused right now.
  6. Sometimes I may feel lonely. If you phone, text or visit me I will know you are thinking about me even though I may need time alone.
  7. Carry on talking to me about what you are doing – even if I do not seem to be listening.
  8. Give me a hug if you think I need one.
  9. Listen to me if you can – it helps me to get stuff of my chest and makes me feel better.
  10. Help me to have fun and laugh sometimes. This does not mean I am ‘over it’ or have forgotten my feelings for the person.
  11. Try to understand if I may not always feel like joining in just now – but please do not stop asking me.
  12. Talk to me about getting help from an adult if you are worried about me.
  13. Stand up for me if I am have a hard time.
  14. Ask me if there is anything you can do if you notice I am having a bad day.