Dealing with Stuff
Things to avoid when your friend's sibling or parent has died
While each individual is different, here is a place to find out about some things that might be best avoided.
Don’t be over the top with sympathy.
Don’t say you understand unless you really do.
Don’t run away your friend needs you now more than ever.
When someone's brother or sister or parent dies we can worry about doing and saying things that will offend them or make them feel worse.
Most of the time this worry is unnecessary; your friend will know that you’re not trying to hurt them.
Having said that, it is always handy to know a few things to avoid – better than finding out through trial and error!
Things to Avoid
- Don’t go over the top with sympathy for your friend’s situation. They don’t need to be pitied, just supported.
- Don't say “I know exactly how you feel”. Unless you’ve had a family member die, chances are you probably don’t.
- Don't force them to talk about their family member’s death. Try to let them take the lead and they will talk about it if they want to.
- Don't ignore the fact that their parent/sibling has died. You don’t have to focus on it, but don’t ignore it.
- Don't withdraw from your friend’s life. They need you now more than ever.
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