How do I check in on a friend after a funeral?

Published: 28/6/2023
How do I check in on a friend after a funeral?
How do I check in on a friend after a funeral?

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can go through. Whether it's a parent, sibling, partner or friend, grief can be overwhelming and all-consuming. As you navigate the process of grief, it's important to remember that you're not alone. Your friends and loved ones are there to support you, even if it feels like they're not sure how.  

If you have a friend who has recently lost someone, you might be wondering how to check in on them after the funeral. It can be tough to know what to say or do, remember your friend will appreciate your efforts to reach out and offer support.   

Here are some tips on how to check in on a friend after a funeral in a way that is empathetic, understanding, and respectful.

Start with a message or phone call 

One of the easiest ways to check in on a friend after a funeral is to simply send a message or give them a call. Start by acknowledging that you know this is a difficult time for them and that you're thinking of them.  

Everyone grieves differently and your friend might not feel like talking. If they don't respond right away, don't take it personally. They might just need some time to process their emotions. Keep the lines of communication open and let them know that you're there for them whenever they're ready.

Offer practical support

When someone is grieving, it can be hard to take care of day-to-day tasks. Offering practical support can be a big help, whether it's cooking a meal, helping with household chores or running errands for them. If you're not sure what your friend needs, ask them. They might appreciate someone taking care of the little things so they can focus on their grief.  

An example of what to say could be, "I know this is a difficult time for you, and I want to help in any way I can. Is there anything you need help with right now? Maybe I could run some errands for you or bring over a meal?"

RELATED ARTICLE: 30 things I wish someone had told me about grief

Listen without judgement 

When your friend is ready to talk, make sure you listen without judgement. Grief can be messy and your friend might have a lot of conflicting emotions that they need to work through. Avoid trying to offer unsolicited advice or telling them how they should feel. Instead, just listen and let them know that you're there for them.  

Start with saying, "I'm here to listen if you want to talk. You don't have to say anything if you don't want to, but I'm here to support you in any way I can."    

How do I check in on a friend after a funeral?
How do I check in on a friend after a funeral?

Respect their boundaries

It's important to respect your friend's boundaries during this time. If they don't feel like talking, don't push them. If they need some alone time, give them space. Everyone processes grief differently, and your friend might need to do things on their own terms. Let them know that you're there for them, but also give them the space they need to grieve.  

An example of what to say is, "I understand if you need some time to yourself right now. Just know that I'm here for you whenever you're ready to talk."

Check in regularly 

After the funeral, it's important to continue checking in on your friend regularly. Grief doesn't just disappear after a few days or weeks. It can take months or even years to fully process the loss of a loved one. Keep the lines of communication open and remind yourself there is no right or wrong way to grieve and to offer ongoing support.    

Grief is a process that takes time. Checking in on your friend after the funeral is just the beginning. Make sure to continue to be there for them in the coming weeks, months, and even years. Offer ongoing support and let them know that you're there for them whenever they need you.      

To find support:  

Beyond Blue provides Australians with information and support to improve their mental health. Call 1300 22 46 36 or visit beyondblue.org.au for more information.  

Lifeline Australia provides Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support. Call 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au for more information.  

GriefLine listens, cares and supports people experiencing loss and grief, at any stage in life. Call 1300 845 6am to midnight AEST, 7 days a week.  

MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.  

Kids Helpline is a free 24/7, confidential and private counselling service Australia wide specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years. Call 1800 55 1800.  

Life Supports Counselling provides Australians with experienced counsellors & psychologists in their local area Australia-wide. Call 1300 735

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