Tips for Grief Etiquette

Psychologist Pamela Cytrynbaum provides some critical tips on helping others deal with grief and dealing with grief oneself on PsychologyToday.com. Let’s take a closer look at some of the tips that will help when dealing with those who are grieving. 

Tip #1: Food is love.

Doing something as simple as sharing a cup of coffee or tea with someone can make a profound impact on one’s emotional state. Often times, those in grief may not want to eat or feel as if they have no appetite. However, it is important to offer foods and beverages because they will be hungry or thirsty at some point and they will cherish the thought behind your action.


Tip #2: Ask.

Sometimes all we have to do is ask what someone needs and they will express it. If they need space, give them space. If they need an ear, lend them your ear. If you offer your hand, they may reach out and take it. Sometimes it is the simplest of actions that make all the difference in the world, but you won’t know unless you ask. 


Tip #3: Listen well.

Have you ever been so upset that all you want is for someone to listen? Often times with grief, we just need someone to listen to us. We don’t need reciprocation or advice, we just need to take solace in the fact that there is someone there willing to listen to us. The same can be said for many situations.


Tip #4: Choosing words carefully.

Often times when people are dealing with a loss you’ll hear people say, “Well, it was his/her time,” or “This is simply a part of life.” And while those may be things you think are helpful or soothes the person grieving, it can sometimes leave them feeling hurt. Instead, offer words of encouragement such as “You are strong and brave,” or “You are not alone.” These phrases offer your support and let that person know you are there for them.


 Tip #5: Respecting Boundaries

As Cytrynbaum states, “Our brains are incredible,” however, our brains can only handle so much. Sometimes folks will want to talk and be around friends and family and at other times they may want to be alone. Essentially, this tip refers to not forcing the issue when it comes to grief. Make sure that the person who is grieving does not feel forced to talk about what happened. They will do so when they are ready.


Let us help.

Essentially, when it comes to grief and grieving, there is no one “proper” way to do it. However, there are proper ways to respect those in grief and these tips offered are only some of the many ways – the ones we felt were most relevant – to effectively respect those grieving. If you have any questions in regards to grief etiquette or need to speak to one of our funeral directors, please do not hesitate to do so (You can also sign up for our 365 Days of Grief Support just below)Contact us today to speak with one of our directors.