The loss of a parent can occur at any age, yet no matter how young or old you may be at the time, it is a devastating ordeal for anyone to face. Whether you have gone through the experience yourself or have yet to face this chapter of your life, when you have a friend who has lost their mother or father, it is important to be there for them.
Unfortunately, many of us have no idea how to provide comfort to our friends who have lost a parent. One struggle that many adults face is choosing what to say to someone who lost their mother or father.
What to Say to Someone Who Lost their Mother or Father to Help Them Through this Difficult Time
Regardless of whether you have faced this struggle on your own, you can sympathize with your friend and understand the difficult time they are going through. One thing to realize is that it isn’t really the words that you say that are so important, but what you do that will make a positive impact.
Instead of asking if there is anything you can do to help, do something to help. Stop by and help them clean their house, wash the dishes, or bring over food for the family to eat.
If your friend has small children to take care of, offer to babysit while she and other family members take care of the preparations for the funeral. Or simply be there for moral support while they deal with the grueling tasks of burying their parent.
What You Should, and Shouldn’t Do for a Friend Who Has Lost a Parent
Many of the things that we feel we are supposed to do when a friend loses a parent aren’t as helpful as society makes them out to be. You may feel it is necessary to send a sympathy card or flowers to them since that is what everyone else always does. But when it comes to your close friends, it’s important to do more than that.
While there’s nothing wrong with sending a beautiful floral arrangement for the family to admire, remember that many other people will do the same. If the deceased was an active member of the community, had many close friends and relatives, or was a dedicated employee of a company for many years, it’s likely that the family will end up with more flowers than they can manage, and most will end up thrown out after time.
Instead of the offering the gift of flowers, you can ask if the family would like for you to donate to a charitable organization that the deceased contributed to. Or the survivors may need financial assistance to pay for the funeral costs. While that is something that you shouldn’t ask at the time, if you are already aware of the situation, a financial gift would go much farther and be more appreciated than a lavish bouquet.
Simply showing your friend that you are and that you are honestly there for them whenever they need you can be more helpful than the same sympathetic phrases that are often shared. Your kindness during their time of heartache is something that they will remember for years to come. And they will be the first to repay the favor to you in your time of need.
Additional Ways to Show You Care
Many of us stumble over finding what to say to someone who lost their mother or father, yet there are so many other things that you can do to show you care.
Funerals can be hectic to organize, and, unfortunately, the grieving family has to take care of the arrangements almost immediately after they learn that their mother or father has passed. That leaves very little time for them to take in the event and go through the mourning process.
Offer to help with the scheduling if you can or allow the family to use your home for visitors to gather before or after the services. You can offer to drive them to the funeral home, be there with them for emotional support while they make arrangements or make phone calls to other non-related acquaintances of the family.
Remember That Actions Speak Louder Than Words
There is nothing truer than that common sentiment when a friend has lost a parent. The things that you do for them during this time will remain in their memory far longer than anything you could say.
So, if you are concerned about what to say to someone who lost their mother or father, don’t focus too much on finding the correct words. Instead, focus more on being a reliable friend that they can depend on during this tragic time.