When going through a loss one of the hardest things to do can be letting friends and family know what you need. Although friends can be quick to offer help, knowing how to respond to their offers isn’t always straightforward. One reason for this difficulty is that it’s often just hard to figure out what you need, let alone communicate it to others. Despite the difficulties, letting people know what you need can really improve the grieving process and help you get through this time.

Just Talk

Talking is often the best way to overcome this hurdle. It could be about what you’re feeling or it could be about the weather. Ideally you’ll eventually be able to work up to talking about your grief, but starting with small talk is perfectly fine. These conversations can be incredibly therapeutic and can help you assess and better understand your needs.

Write it Down

If you can’t handle talking it out, try writing it down. Start a journal about what you’re feeling and how it’s affecting you. Be introspective and once you feel comfortable enough, share some of your journal entries with close friends or family.

This Isn’t Working

It’s okay to, politely, let people know if what they’re doing isn’t helping. Your friends want to help you, but it’s most likely going to be a learning process for everyone. So if they try to help in a way that just isn’t really working, don’t be afraid to say so. A word of caution though. If you feel like changing course because you feel like you’re “too big of a burden” for your friends, this is not a good excuse. Don’t ever feel like your grief is causing others to suffer, your friends are there to help.

Different is Okay

When it comes to family, you might feel pressure to grieve or cope in the same ways the rest of the family does. However, family traditions don’t apply to grief. Just because they like to keep busy to take their minds off it, doesn’t mean you have to. Have an honest conversation with the rest of your family and work together to make sure everyone is getting the support they need.