Blog | Insights

How to Help Someone Grieving

Meet Emma

I’m a coach dedicated to helping individuals and organisations to help themselves and others, too. I believe every person has the potential to achieve their goals and move forward after hurdles in their lives but sometimes they need a helping hand.

I founded The Mental Health People after years of experience of supporting others. At the age of 18, I began performance coaching as part of my role as a sales manager in a contact centre. I learned how to listen to what was happening in my colleagues’ lives, too. During the course of my working life, I experienced divorce, two life-changing bereavements, as well as my own mental health challenges. I felt there was little understanding of how to support me or others going through life’s challenges in the workplace. I knew something had to change.

After many years of working in businesses, including roles in recruitment, HR, and learning and development, I was able to gain essential skills and a full insight into what people need to be happy at work. I used my time on furlough in 2020 to gain the qualifications to sit alongside my experience to set up The Mental Health People, to bridge the gap between mental health and career.

I now work with organisations and individuals offering one-to-one support, training, and workshops specialising in topics that support people to help themselves and others too. Covering topics such as resilience, stress management, mental health awareness, setting healthy boundaries, grief in the workplace, and more.

What is grief?

Grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional loss of any kind.

We all experience it multiple times in our lives.

People may tiptoe around us and not know what to say.

It’s a conflicting feeling caused by the end of, or change in, a familiar pattern or behaviour.

It’s a normal and natural reaction.

Grief is individual and unique.

Examples of grief

  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Retirement
  • Moving
  • Pet loss
  • Financial change (increase or decrease)
  • Loss of health
  • Legal problems
  • Empty nest
  • End of addiction
  • Starting school

Unhelpful things to say to someone grieving

  • You’ll be fine in time
  • I know how you feel
  • You shouldn’t be feeling that way still
  • Look on the bright side, at least they’re in a better place
  • Don’t feel bad, his suffering is over now
  • You’re young; you can still have other children
  • It was just a dog, cat, bird etc

Helpful things to say to someone grieving

  • I can’t imagine how you’re feeling
  • What happened?
  • However you feel is OK
  • Would you like to talk about it?
  • Remember when…

Sometimes you don’t need to say anything.

Just sitting with someone can really help. You don’t need to fill every silence.

Be empathetic – If you tear up, that’s ok.

Next steps

Hopefully this guide has helped you understand more about grief and what to say to someone experiencing grief right now.

In today’s world, we need to become more empathetic and in the moment when talking with others.
We need to understand others’ feelings and talk more.

By helping someone deal with grief, you’re helping reduce the stigma surrounding it but also helping that particular person.
You’ll feel empowered by the help that you give too.

If you want to know more about helping others, get in touch today and let’s have a chat.

Browse more content

Embracing your inner critic: exploring the power of internal family systems

Mental Health Awareness week 2024

Mindfulness and achieving a good work-life balance