How to Treat Friends Who Are Grieving After the Holidays

For some of us, this isn’t the most wonderful time of the year. Some of us have lost jobs, relationships, and people. So how do you talk to your friends who are grieving during the beginning of the new year ?

Each year, we tend to have our ups and downs. We count our blessings and our sad events as well, weighing them down and trying to see the potential of a new beginning, and a new year for that matter.

However, considering the global pandemic events that have continued for about two years now, it has become harder for people to move on and try to look forward, when even what’s ahead of us seems uncertain. And it gets even more difficult if we’re grieving past relationships and lost family members, friends, or loved ones. So at the end of this year, maybe it’s for the best to control our holiday festive spirit, in the sense, to become more empathetic instead and look around for the people we care about.

And this is not an easy thing to do! If we could, we would certainly bring the smile back on our friend or relative’s face just like magic, but talking to the persons grieving by the end of this year will require a lot of patience and understanding. 

Here are a few tips to reach out to them, without imposing ourselves in their grieving process. 


  1. Call, then visit

I know that our anticipation and need to check up on the well-being of our loved ones can take a toll out of us. Persons that are going through difficult phases in their lives due to loss, may be difficult to reach, and we become more worried. However, please try to respect their need to reflect and simply embrace the new reality. Do not impose your presence when they might be manifesting theirs. Try to call, as much times as it is needed, until you decide to pay a visit.


  1. Invite them Over (but don’t force it)

There was Christmas which they probably did not attend, and now you want to invite them over for New Year’s Eve, because you don’t want them to pass their new year’s night grieving. This can be very thoughtful, however, please remember that interacting with people may cost the sanity and well-being of your friend. If he or she does not accept the invitation, do not feel offended. Accept the fact that they’re not ready to socialize just yet, and let them know you’re a phone call away.


  1. Send them love

Just because they’re not present, does not mean that you can’t show your friends your loving and support. You can do this through warm texts, by sending them the food you have cooked, by sharing personalized gifts with them, by which we let our friends know how strong they are and how they will be able appreciate good times again, soon enough, with you by their side! 


  1. Respect their Holiday Choices

It is important to understand that the choices of your friends or loved ones do not reflect the relationship they have with you. They reflect the relationship that your friends are having with themselves, while they’re going through a difficult grieving process. That is why you should respect their need to remain alone, private, unengaged in the party or conversation or the small talk that they give you, just to let you know that they’re trying!  


  1. Listen

Listening should be your strongest asset when talking to someone who is going through rough times. Do not try to give any advice on how they can surpass their situation, do not tell your loved ones to be strong, or that there could be worse! We all have our own experiences, so minimizing someone’s feelings and pain is the worst thing you can do! Simply try to listen, and when you have the opportunity, let your friends know that whatever happens, they can reach out to you anytime, with no judgement coming from your side. 


Picture: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for more to take away from this tumultuous year, read below.

The Most Important Lessons to Keep in Mind from 2021


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