Spending time with the person who has been bereaved and being close to others can be a great source of comfort in times of grief. It is not always necessary to say anything; just being there is enough. It is important that a bereaved person is able to talk and cry with someone without being told to pull themselves together.
It can be difficult for other people to understand why the bereaved keep covering the same ground, talking things over and over again. This is an important part of the healing process and should be encouraged. By not mentioning the name of the person who has died for fear of upsetting can lead to a period of isolation and add to the grief of the bereaved. Another difficult time when friends and relatives can be of help is around special occasions, anniversaries or celebrations, which can be particularly painful for years to come.
Practical help with domestic chores and looking after children can all lead to easing the difficulties facing the bereaved. Elderly bereaved partners may need more practical help than most, particularly with financial arrangements.