Christi Garner, a licensed marriage and family therapist, says the No. 1 action you can take to support a friend or family member who has lost someone is to “put on your listening ears.” That means active listening that puts your loved one first, she says.
“Stay away from voicing your opinions and judgments,” says Garner. She advises being there to listen to everything from “a story, to complaints and to anything the person in grief has to say. That is sometimes how we work things out. We talk about the thoughts in our heads until they can become more clear.”
Sometimes, all you need to do is be present as a sounding board while the person talks through their grief.