Helping Someone Who Is Grieving, and Helping Yourself Through Grief

Susan Weisberg, LCSW, is a social worker in the Bay Area who has worked with hospice for many years.  She recently introduced me to the organization Resources for Grief (, which sells materials to hospice agencies and others.

Resources for Grief has two companion pieces on its website that are intended for  individuals rather than hospice agencies.  One is on helping someone who is grieving, and the other is helping yourself through grief.  Grieving is described as a “lengthy journey” for which we all need support.  The resources make clear that while death ends life, it doesn’t end our relationship to the person who has died.

Here are a few excerpts from “Helping Someone Who Is Grieving”:

  • Your presence is more important than anything you say. 
  • Make specific and practical offers to help, such as, “Let me pick-up some groceries for you when I’m at the store,” rather than, “if there’s anything you need, give me a call.”
  • Don’t try to lessen the loss with easy answers–“It’s God’s will,” “They’re better off now,” “God needed a little angel in heaven,” or “There must be a reason.”
  • Remember special days–holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Mark them on your calendar.

Here’s a link to all the great suggestions in “Helping Someone Who Is Grieving”:

Helping Someone Who Is Grieving
Resources For Grief
Copyright 2007

And here are a few excerpts from “Helping Yourself Through Grief”:

  • Provide Gentle Self-Care when Grief is Fresh.
  • Accept Your Feelings.
  • Care for Your Whole Being–Body, Mind, and Spirit. 
  • Seek Ongoing Support. 
  • Embrace the Memories. 

Here’s a link to the ten tips in “Helping Yourself Through Grief”:

Helping Yourself Through Grief
From “The Nature of Grief: Photographs and Words for Reflection and Healing,” by Rebecca Hauder
Resources For Grief