How to Help A Grieving Person

Grief is hard. Helping grieving people is even harder, if you don’t have the tools and resources to support you. These pages will help you relate to grieving children, teens, and adults that are in your life; ask the right questions, recognize when grief moves to depression, and learn how to support them throughout their grief journey.

What (Not) to Say

Don’t ask: “How are you doing?” Ask: (be specific)

“How are you eating?”
“How are you sleeping?”
“How is _____ class going?”
“What are you doing for fun?”
“What helps right now?”
“What do you think about when you think of ________?”

Don’t comment: “You shouldn’t feel that way.” Instead…

“Tell me how that feels.”

Don’t offer spiritual answers. Your beliefs may not be theirs.

“What do you believe?”

Don’t minimize their pain meet them where they are at….

“Right now it doesn’t feel like it’s going to get better.”

Don’t put a timetable on recovery… you can’t fix this for them but you can be there

“I’ll be here as long as you need me.”


For even more resources and support, check out Hamilton’s Grief Library for books and videos about grief.