How do you help a grieving friend?

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Lili Marlene : So right. I lost my husband recently. Didn’t even want people to know because it’s so hard to deal with the “brightsiders.” My best friend just sits with me and lets me advice, no cheery suggestions...just an arm around the shoulder, boxes of Kleenex, an an occasional ‘I love you.’

Katherine Nelson : Thank you for this. I lost my oldest son not quite four months ago to a motorcycle accident. He was 26. Everyone reached out to me for the first couple weeks, then just disappeared. People I hadn't heard from for years were all of a sudden there, then gone. It truly made me feel like everyone just wanted to be a part of the tragedy, until THEY felt like it wasn't tragic anymore. My daughter and I talk about him and the accident often, the good and the bad, but I sometimes wonder if anyone else truly gets it. I want to scream to people that just because he died, doesn't mean he never existed. And while I know this is something I will never get over, only get through, it would be nice to have others acknowledge that, even though it's been "this long", for a part of me, it will always be "Thursday". Update: my best friend and husband passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Friday December 14. Please keep me in your thoughts. I am heartbroken.

Miao Yu : I believe that when someone tries to cheer up or give advice to a grieving friend, he or she is really trying to get the friend to stop making him or her uncomfortable. It's well-meaning, but selfish. Acknowledging grief and wading into it is difficult and uncomfortable, so we tend to avoid doing so. Also, I've noticed that if a grieving friend doesn't respond in the expected way to these attempts to fix them, the other person tends to get upset at him or her, saying demeaning crap like, "why can't you just get over it already?".

Ekew : I think the hardest thing is finding that person who will want to consistently acknowledge your grief. For most, they will do it once if that and then you never hear from them again because they expected you to be done grieving right away. The reality is it only becomes worse because no one wanted to support you in your grief and now you feel isolated on top of grieving (if that makes sense) they were all keen to move on with their lives because loss has not impacted their lives and they will pretend like nothing happened but you don't have that option. At least this was my experience, my father died when I was 15 and my mother died when I was 28, it set a pretty upsetting view of the people in my life (including family).

Maxwell Swanson : How quickly does this process take place? How does it relate to sittuations where people have been complaining about the same stuff for YEARS and they dont seem to WANT to get better, they just keep rehearsing the same old victim stories blaming their current life on the past? Not only is this draining for me to listen to but are they not just repeating the same old patterns, engraining it even deeper in their personality?

Mwer Keller : My best friend that I've been with for about 7 years lost her dad recently because he got hit by a bus. Whenever she needs to talk about it, I let her talk. Whenever she needs to show me pictures of her dad, or things she gave her dad, or even things her dad gave her, I always let her because I know how important it is to her.

Alice G : Thank you for this video. All of this is so very true. I recently lost my mom and I do not know if I will ever stop grieving, there is a big part of me gone. Ths is very good advice. Thank you

The Journey : The acknowledgement thing is so true. My daughter was stillborn last year, and so many people came to her funeral, but so few people actually spoke to me about her. I actually had someone tell me 6-9 months after she died, that she didn't want to say something to me because she didn't want to upset me. I guess I can understand where she was coming from. But so many people didn't even acknowledge my daughter's existence. No one asked what happened (I guess they thought it was too personal). So, I felt so incredibly alone. Still do, truth be told. Most people didn't try to cheer me up, they just didn't acknowledge that anything had happened at all. You never know how to deal with something like this unless you've gone through it. But I believe it's a topic that needs to be talked about.

Lynn Oatman : Thank you so much for this. I know people mean the best, but so often they don't understand, that fixing it isn't what is needed. Thank you thank you thank you.

Sarah Jane Dueñas : I lost my mum 2 months ago and it's very difficult. 😭

Pawter Panda : Thank you for this. I recently lost both of my parents and when people tell me "At least you have memories of them" it only makes it worse because I don't want them to just be memories I want them to still be here and I can't have that.

Becky Livingston : Bravo. I love this message "It makes things feel better even thought they can't be made right"

IAmAPhotoCrazyGirl : Do NOT say "just get over it" or "don't be a baby". Everyone grieves differently. Just be aware, listen, and be a friend.

luna r : i really really hate it when people try to make things better by saying "its gonna be ok" or "itll get better" even though i know theyre trying and i appreciate that

αииιкα 549 : I might be a suicidal person, but this one friend of mine got her mother died because of cancer a few weeks ago. I know no one would care for me if I die... but I will still do the right thing. I hope this helps her.

Laura Anniebelle Berdette : Hello, I would like to share this video with my class during a presentation at school. I am in a registered nursing program and my topic is Interrupted Family Processes, Grief and Loss. Would that be alright? It's a great video :) Thank you

Elena Gogou : we would love to have it subtitled in Greek, too... it is such a lovely and helpful piece of work

Miriam Jewett : I lost my 6 yr old beautiful granddaughter to brain cancer last Dec. I've learned until a grieving person is ready to hear, no one can help.

Anneli vD : I wish more people around me knew this. It hurts so much when they try to cheer me up. It feels as though they’re saying “just get over it, you’re overreacting”

Stefanie Hanlon : Everyone grieves in their own way and there is no time table on it. Sometimes people just want to be left alone. A comment that was made to me was "call me when you get over it" well, that comment was just another heartbreak - and the worst thing you can say to someone, no matter how long ago it was.

Jay Anderson : This is so well done Megan.  Thank you!  I am using this in my Death & Dying courses.

Dianne Mclean : Sounds a lot like the Brene Brown video on Empathy

Kathleen Lee : Thank you Megan, I'm in tears as I write this. I lost my soul child Nicholas 3 years and 3 months ago today due to an undiagnosed AVM which led to a massive cerebral hemorrhage. I found him on the floor. It feels like it was yesterday. I'm glad you wrote your book. I am reading it. You get it. Nobody in my world does. Love to you.

UrbanLegend526 : This video would’ve helped me explain myself when I was going through a bad/traumatic time even though it wasn’t a loss or death.

Roberta Purves : This is very good advice. I lost my 20 year old son. I did not want to be talked out of my pain. I wanted to be left alone. But, had someone said; I'm sorry your hurting do you want to talk about it?" Or a friend or family member to just be there put your hand on my shoulder and just be there. No words. Sometimes when people are grieving they just need lots of time let them sleep let them cry let them grieve. Encourage them to join a support group asap. It saved my life. I joined GriefShare and became a facilitator. God blesses all tears. God bless all that are hurting.

Cynthia Macho : Yes !!! Well explained !!

Beautiful Dreamer : This is a brilliant video.

A. Ambrose : This is very beautiful. Thank you for making this, it made me understand my own grief a bit better.

elona : the cultural training we get to look on the bright side is SO FREAKING STRONG!!!

Rebecca Putman : This is so very spot on. Thank you!

Allison P : Beautiful Megan, just beautiful.

Ogyen Gyatso : Thank you for this, it’s so genuine. I had a stray puppy who I got so attached to and really loved like my own child, but I was at fault for when he prematurely died. My “best friend” tried to console me on two or three occasions but by the fourth time he told me to get over it. Took me a long time to figure things out and that he was only looking out for himself, and that I was losing more by following people like that. I don’t think I’ll ever get over my dog’s death, but I have definitely grown up immensely since then. Appreciate every second with your loved ones because you never know when they will be snatched away.

Adri Bautista : My childhood best friend was recently stabbed to death in a domestic violent crime. She was trying to move back home. She missed her home. And I don’t know what to do...

Official Leotique. : Thanks for this video :)

CarterCrewLife : What about trying to help a grieving friend who is very introverted and private? I really do respect her need to grieve in private, and I have expressed that my heart is with her even when I can’t be. I don’t want to intrude, but it’s so hard to know how often it is ok to reach out. If she would prefer a shallow conversation as a reprieve? Or when it is ok to say, “I miss him too.” knowing that my own tears might feel burdensome? I really appreciate this video and your FB page got me through a very hard time of my own grief. It was a true refuge. Thank you.

Catherine Pestano : when my best friend died many years ago it devastated my friendship group. People don't always realise the impact of losing a best friend, followed by a friendship group being all at sea with their own grieving. For her 50th (over 20 years after her death) we, along with her husband and family, instigated a new award at our old school celebrating her gentle kindness. The grief in us all was right up there still raw in a way but more containable. It's good to keep talking, if people can bear to listen and share together.

S G : Thank you for this. My father died at 87, nearly 6 years ago, during a short stay in hospital - I was at home in England. My mother died last October 2017 in her own bed in Portugal at the age of 94 - sis and I were privileged to be with her when she died. The year had been traumatic for all of us and sis and I had taken turns going out to Portugal to care for her. The pain is still strong and I still cry and, yes, people who haven't been through it don't get it. I don't want to hear about a "good innings". Damn, they were my parents and I still think "I must tell them.....when we speak next". The pain changes for me, but doesn't go away.

Wendy Tarasoff : My daughter is in pain. She has to face her own death. I let the tears flow and acknowledged her.

svankmaj : So what do you do when you're with someone in their pain, "there with them", listen to them, and it DOESN'T help? In the end, I just get depressed and feel in pain, and nothing feels better or gets better. In fact, the pain and depression gets toxic, and then I'm in pain, which in turn puts others in pain. I hate to say this, but this doesn't work real well for me. It just creates an avalanche of pain and misery that gets worse and worse and worse. :,( Sorry.

Julie Puhr : This validates my pain

Runner_Track : So true.. you want to leave people alone when they are grieving... I lost my dad 10 years ago, and all my friends tried to cheer me up. It didn’t work. Don’t take away the pain it will help you a lot.. I am a very sensitive and emotional person and cry pretty much everyday.. I was diagnosed with bad depression.. all my friends are trying to make me smile but never works.. you just have to let the grief take its own path

Catherine Pestano : Love this, very helpful and will make it my new training vid where I used to use the Brenee Brown on empathy. I think this spells things out even more helpfully for the person in the street. I can see tags but can't find the right megan devine on twitter, there are lots! Please add your twitter handle to the description or the attribution that you prefer? Thanks so much for making the wonderful resource.

Pamela Roberts : I think this is true in many situations. People just want to feel validated. No matter if it is grief or anger or frustration, etc. Just letting them know that you acknowledge that they feel this way can help the situation. It can calm them down sometimes to get them to be more responsive to positive thoughts and behaviors.

Angel Muhammad : Powerful!!!

Jessica Rios : Deep thanks for your bold, open heart. This is gorgeous, clear, potent wisdom and medicine. So needed in these crazy times. THANK YOU, dear Megan.

kumuda dv : Absolutely right, I see people around want to bring us soon back to normal and think that's the way to console us. No, please. All we need is listening ears n touching hands, to keep our grief open exposed as much we want. It's a lesson and everyone should follow.

Noe Olivr : A brilliant example of Radical Acceptance. Brilliant. Thank you!

Harley Quinn : This is sweet

Gevian Dargan : Thank you. This really helps a lot. I have been struggling with how to be there for people who are grieving and dealing with loss of many kinds. I will definitely give this a try.

Sinead Murty Bautista : I have a friend whose parent just died. its their birthday too the day after. thanks for this