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Wayne State College
Counseling Center
Student Center, Rm. 103
1111 Main St.
Wayne, NE 68787

Phone: 402.375.7321
Fax: 402.375.7058



Personal Counseling > Grief and Loss > How to help a friend cope with loss


:: Grieving people may experience similar feelings ::
:: How to help a friend cope with loss :: Myths about grief ::
::  Recovering from grief :: Help is available ::

  • Listen.

  • Be willing just to be with the person without doing anything specific. Don't be afraid of silence.

  • Permit the grieving person to express feelings honestly and openly - encourage reminiscence.

  • Don't be afraid of embarrassing yourself by saying or doing the wrong thing.

  • Respect the desire for privacy by allowing the person time alone, but let him/her know you'll be there if needed or wanted.

  • Be attentive to the individual's needs. Offer help with day-to-day practical matters.

  • Invite the person to do things with you.

  • Don't be afraid to reach out a hand or touch the person whenever and wherever seems appropriate. A tender touch or a smile can communicate caring in ways that words cannot express.

  • Do something special to clearly convey you care such as writing some kind words, calling on the telephone or giving a small gift to help to uplift spirits.

  • Suggest reading materials or support groups to possibly help the person better understand and cope with the loss.


Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor




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