How to Help a Grieving Friend: A Candid Guide for Those Who Care


This quick read will help you know how to act and what to say around a grieving friend. Learn to speak healing words instead of tired clichés, comfort and empathize with others, and break down barriers.
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This quick read will help you know how to act and what to say around a grieving friend. Learn to speak healing words instead of tired clichés, comfort and empathize with others, and break down barriers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576836774
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/17/2005
  • Series: Experiencing God Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.22 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Grace Whitson is the best-selling author of eleven works of historical fiction. and has been nominated for numerous awards of excellence. After her husband died in 2001, Stephanie dedicated herself to full-time writing and speaking. A native of southern Illinois, she has resided in Nebraska since 1975.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Introduction 11
Phase 1 "I can't" 15
Phase 2 "I Must" 53
Phase 3 "I can and I will - by God's Grace" 79
In Closing ... a Word About Closure 95
After A While 99
About the Author 101
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First Chapter


A Candid Guide for Those Who Care


Copyright © 2005 Stephanie Grace Whitson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-57683-677-0

Chapter One

phase one "I can't"

I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Psalm 6:6


I thought I'd want to be alone. I thought it would be overwhelming to share the day of death with anyone. I usually gain energy from being alone. So I thought once the hospice nurse and sheriff left and I'd talked with the funeral home ... well, I thought I'd just want to wrap myself in a blanket and be alone.

But friends began to arrive. The kind of people who take charge, go get carryout, and fill the house with the laughter of good memories ... among genuine tears.

I didn't think I'd want people around.

I was wrong.


Bring Kleenex

Paper plates, paper towels, napkins, toilet paper ... disposables make a great gift right now. You've saved me a trip to the store ... and made life at home easier.

* * *

Use Present Tense

If you slip up and mention my loved one in the present tense, that's okay. In my heart he or she is still very much alive.

* * *

Pretend with Me

If I start to tell a story or talk about him or her, don't get that "deer in the headlights" look. Pretend he or she is still here. As long as we remember, my loved one is.


If one more person quotes Romans 8:28 to me - or some other comfort cliché - I am going to SCREAM. I know Romans 8:28 by heart. I can read it in Greek. And French. It doesn't help. All I want is someone to listen to my pain. And maybe give me a hug. I haven't had a hug in a long, long time.


Don't Apologize for Not Knowing What to Say Chances are, there isn't anything you can say that will really help. Your hand on my shoulder, your hug, and your presence mean a lot.

* * *

Don't Speculate About the Unknowable If your faith teaches that the dead don't see us and don't care about life on earth "in light of eternity," keep it to yourself. Saying that is the same thing as saying he or she doesn't love me anymore.

* * *

Leave the Self-Help Books at Home Unless you can say, "This helped me when my ____________ died," just don't say it.


Excerpted from HOW TO HELP A GRIEVING FRIEND by STEPHANIE GRACE WHITSON Copyright © 2005 by Stephanie Grace Whitson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    Wonderful resource

    This book is a wonderful resource for those who struggle with how to respond to a friend in the midst of grieving. A look into the heart of the author as she went through several major losses offers insight into how it feels to be on the receiving end of grief, then the book goes a step further, offering practical and specific things to do (or not do) to help.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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