Ten Ways to Help Bereaved Families
No-one can take away the pain and sadness, but knowing that people care, is comforting and healing.
You cannot “fix it”, but you can help:
- By offering to be there
- By listening and accepting strong emotions
- By being patient and allowing silences
- By showing that you care
- By offering practical support
- By not saying “I know” or “I understand” unless you really do
- By avoiding platitudes – “It’s God’s will”, etc.
- By not taking anger personally
- By encouraging people to make their own decisions, and helping them to find information and support
- By taking care of yourself – knowing your limits
Don’t underestimate the value of ordinary human kindness.
Last reviewed: 6/8/21
Entire text attributed to the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, as cited in Ronald, W. (2013). Chaplain’s News. Drouin West Primary School Newsletter, 6. [full text]. See also: Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (2014). How to Help Someone Who is Grieving. Mulgrave, Vic.: Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement. Ephemera. [Full text]