1.) Be a good listener Ask about their feelings
2.) Just sit with them Share your feelings
3.) Ask about their loss Remember the loss
4.) Make telephone calls Acknowledge the pain
5.) Let them feel sad Be available when you can
6.) Do not minimize grief Talk about your own losses
People who are grieving often feel isolated or lonely in their grief. Soon after the loss, social activities and support from others may decrease. As the shock of the loss fades, there is a tendency on the part of the griever to feel more pain and sadness. Well-meaning friends may avoid discussing the subject due to their own discomfort with grief or their fear of "making the person feel bad." They may "not know what to say."
People who are grieving are likely to fluctuate between wanting some time to themselves and wanting closeness with others. They may want someone to talk to about their feelings. Showing concern and thoughtfulness about a friend shows that you care. It's better to feel nervous and awkward sitting with a grieving friend than to not sit there at all.
This post compliments of The Counseling & Mental Health Center at The University of Texas at Austin.