The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

I need to support my grieving friend

 I need to support my grieving friend (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I have a close friend who recently lost her mother, and I don’t know how best to help her. I just don’t know what to say, and I am afraid of saying the wrong thing. What should I do?

Helping a Grieving Friend

Chris says,

Hi Helping a Grieving Friend!

The most important thing you can do is simply to be there. Just talk to her. Use direct language like: ‘I heard that your mother died’ which shows you are willing to talk about how she feels. Don’t be afraid to reveal that you don’t have the right words: ‘I am not sure what to say, but I do want you to know I care.’

Let her tell you what happened, maybe over and over again, because repeating the story will help her to accept her bereavement. And with each re-telling, her pain will get a little less.

Talk frankly about her mother and don’t change the subject if her name comes up.

And invite your friend to express her thoughts: ‘Do you feel like talking about it?’ If she does, simply accept her feelings without any judgment. Don’t press her if she doesn’t want to talk. Simply sit together in silence. Just being there is enough.

Offer practical assistance, like shopping, driving or cleaning. Keep your promises, because most people forget. So be the one who follows up. Weekends are often difficult, so suggest meeting up then to have a meal or a coffee together.

Keep in touch, and encourage her to seek professional help if you notice her neglecting personal hygiene, abusing alcohol, withdrawing from friends, feeling hopeless, or increasingly focusing on her loss. Watch for excessive bitterness, anger, guilt, hallucinations, slow speech and body movements, or being unable to function at work.

And if she talks about ‘unbearable feelings’ or ‘nothing to look forward to,’ assist her to get professional help right away.  Above all, offer hope. People who’ve been bereaved often recall that the people who helped them the most were those who quietly reassured them that things would eventually get better.

All the best,


Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week