Don’t Go Through Grief Alone: How to Build a Support System

When you’re grieving, it can feel like no one knows what you’re going through. That’s why it is important to have a support system in place.

Even if you think no one understands what you’re going through, there are many people out there who are willing to listen or offer help. Here are some suggestions for ways that friends and family can help:

How To Overcome Loss And Grief | Marisa Peer
Building a support system can help you cope with grief and loss.
Identifying potential supporters is key to building a strong support system.
Communication is essential in building and maintaining a support system.
Self-care is important for both the grieving individual and their supporters.
Support can come from a variety of sources, including family, friends, support groups, and therapy.

1. Find Your Friends

Now that you know what a support system is, you can start thinking about how to build one. The first thing you should do is to find friends who will be there for you and understand your grief. 

You need people who are willing to listen to what you have to say and share in your pain, but also ones that can help by helping themselves as well. 

And remember: not all friendships are created equal! If two people go through a similar loss at the same time, it’s important for them both to find someone else who has experienced this same kind of loss before so they can get advice from someone who knows exactly how they’re feeling right now someone who understands exactly where they’re coming from.”

Building a support system after a loss can help you navigate the complex and difficult emotions that come with grief. It’s important to identify the people who can provide the emotional support you need and reach out to them. For more tips on building a support system, check out our article on finding strength in community after a loss.

2. Take Advantage Of Online Communities

Online communities can be a great way for you to connect with people who are going through similar experiences. 

You may be able to find and connect with others who understand what you’re going through because they are experiencing the same loss as you, or perhaps they lost someone else close to them. 

Online communities can also help you feel less alone in your grief by providing support from people who have been there before.

Online communities gives us access to information, resources and people that we would otherwise have difficulty accessing otherwise. 

In addition, it is extremely easy for us all to use technology these days so there really is no excuse not too!

Online Grief Support SourcesBrief DescriptionProsCons
Grief ShareA faith-based platform for support groups, videos & articlesFree, available 24/7, useful for religious individualsReligious theme may not appeal to non-believers
7 CupsConnects users to trained listeners for emotional supportFree, anonymous, available 24/7Not for serious clinical conditions, listeners may not be licensed therapists
Hello GriefA social network for those grieving a lossFree, aims to provide a sense of communityLimited to sharing emotions only

3. Talk To Friends And Family In Your Own Way

Talking to friends and family about your loss is a great way to stay connected, but it’s not always easy. 

Here are some tips for talking with people who may not know how to support you:

  • Listen. In order for them to understand what you’re going through, they need to hear what’s on your mind.
  • Talk about how you’re feeling or thinking about things in the moment. Don’t feel pressured into agreeing with everything someone says just because they’re older or more experienced than you this won’t help either of you move forward.
  • Be honest about what kind of help or support works best for your needs (like whether one-on-one conversations work better than group settings.) This will help others know where they can fit into your life without feeling like they’ve overstepped their bounds by offering anything but their presence alone.”

Grief and loss can be overwhelming, and it’s important to have a strong support system in place. Our article on 10 ways to build a support system for grief and loss provides practical tips on how to build a support system that works for you. From reaching out to family and friends to finding professional help, there are many ways to get the support you need.

4. Get Help From A Professional

As you’re working with a professional, it’s important to understand what to expect from them, and how they can help.

A good place to start is by establishing the parameters of your relationship. You need to know what you want out of this work together and then make sure that they will be able to give it to you.

If a professional is not right for you, then there’s no point in continuing with them. It’s important not only for your emotional health but also for their reputation as professionals if they don’t understand who their clients are or aren’t able to meet those needs, so don’t hesitate in looking elsewhere if needed!

Types Of Professional HelpBrief DescriptionProsCons
TherapistLicensed mental health professionals trained to help individuals cope with difficult emotionsTailored treatment plan, confidential setting, access to psychological tests, assessments & medication.Costly for regular sessions, finding the right therapist can be difficult & time-consuming
CounselorNon-medically trained professionals who provide guidance & support to individualsCost-effective, easily accessible, helps in improving communication & relationshipsLimited to support and guidance, not suitable for severe mental conditions
PsychiatristSpecializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnessCan prescribe medication for treatment, helps manage severe mental conditionsExpensive, long waiting periods, limited time spent with patients

6. Give Back, If You’re Able To Do So

5. Stay Connected To Hobbies And Interests That Bring You Joy

While it may be difficult to do, it’s important to try to stay connected to hobbies and interests that bring you joy. 

This could mean going outside for a walk, reading a book, or even playing with a pet.

The main thing is that you feel like you are engaging in activities that are meaningful and enjoyable. When we lose someone we love dearly, it can be easy for us to fall into despair and wallow in sadness. 

However, the more we engage ourselves in things that bring us happiness or peace of mind (while still mourning and processing the loss), the better off we’ll be when moving forward with life again.

Creating a supportive network after a loss can be challenging, but it’s an important part of the healing process. Our article on creating a supportive network after a loss offers tips and strategies on how to build a network of support that can help you through your grief journey. From online support groups to grief counselors, there are many resources available to help you build a supportive network.

6. Give Back, If You’re Able To Do So

Giving back is a great way to feel good about yourself and help others at the same time. If you’re able to give back, volunteering can be an effective way of meeting new people. You might find that you make friends with some of the people around you!

Volunteer opportunities are available for all different interests and skill levels—you don’t need to be an expert in any area to contribute your skillset and expertise. 

Some ways people can volunteer include: tutoring children or young adults who need extra help with schoolwork, helping out at animal shelters, providing food for people who don’t have enough money for groceries, cleaning up litter from parks/beaches/trails etc.,

helping refugees integrate into their new communities (e.g., taking them grocery shopping), assisting seniors who need help getting around town or keeping track of their medications…the list goes on!

Volunteering OpportunitiesBrief DescriptionProsCons
HospiceProvides care for terminally ill patientsProvides fulfillment, sense of purpose & help to those in needCan be emotionally challenging, requires time commitment, may not be suitable for everyone
Community CenterOffers numerous programs to facilitate various community needsProvides opportunities to meet new people, acquire skills & make a difference in the communityRequires time & effort commitment, finding the right fit can be difficult
Local Support GroupsProvides a platform for individuals with similar experiences to come together and share their storiesHelps provide emotional support, create a network of friends in similar situations, helps individuals cope positively with their experiencesNot ideal for everyone, may not be comfortable for some individuals to open up and share personal stories.

7. Connect With Others Who Understand What You’re Going Through

You probably already know that it’s important to have people who understand what you’re going through. 

But it may not be as easy for you to find those people as you think. Friends and family might not understand how long and difficult your grieving process will be, or why you’re so upset about something they think is no big deal.

Some people who have been through the same kind of loss may want to help by giving advice but even if their suggestions were perfect for themselves, that doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. 

And sometimes other people are just too busy with their own lives and problems, so they don’t have time to talk with us about our experiences right now (or maybe ever).

Connecting with others who are also grieving can be a great way to help with the process of healing but only if we’re careful about whom we choose as friends during this time! 

It’s important that we trust these new relationships completely: no one should pressure us into doing anything we don’t feel comfortable doing; no one should try pressuring us out of feeling any emotions except happiness; no one should try pressuring us into keeping secrets from anyone else who cares about our well-being!

Having a support system during times of grief and loss is essential for emotional and mental wellbeing. Our article on the importance of having a support system during times of grief and loss explores the different types of support systems available and provides guidance on how to build a support system that meets your specific needs. Whether it’s a support group, a therapist, or family and friends, having a strong support system can make a big difference.

8. Ask For Help When You Need It

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s okay if you need a hand, and it’s okay if you don’t know who to ask. If someone offers their services take them up on it! 

But don’t forget that there are people who are better suited than others to help you through difficult times, so make sure they’re the ones doing the heavy lifting when they can.

Ask for help from someone who knows what they’re doing (but not too much). Sometimes just having someone else do some of the work can be enough comfort in itself. 

On the other hand, if no one has offered assistance or tried offering assistance after multiple requests for assistance then maybe it’s time for a change in tactics and/or support system.

9. Keep An Open Mind About Support Options

  • Don’t dismiss support options that are new to you.
  • If you’re not sure how a particular support option will fit into your life, give it a try.
  • If it doesn’t work out, try something else!

Support isn’t one size fits all and as you go through this process of trying to find what works for you, remember that everyone has their own way of grieving and each person will have different needs at different points in time.

Supporting children through grief can be challenging, but it’s essential for their emotional wellbeing. Our article on supporting children through grief: a guide for parents offers practical tips on how to help children navigate their grief journey. From talking to them about death and loss to providing them with age-appropriate resources, there are many ways to support children through their grief.

10. Write Letters, Or Keep A Journal Or Blog, Even If You Don’t Share Them With Others

Write letters, or keep a journal or blog. Even if you don’t share them with others, writing down your thoughts in the form of a letter can be helpful. 

You can even write to yourself and tell yourself all the things you would say to someone else, who might not be able to hear you otherwise. 

You could also write a letter to someone who has passed away (or just release it in your head), telling them how much they mean to you and why their memory will live on forever in your heart. 

The same goes for writing about any other important relationships in life that have changed as a result of death your parents, siblings, friends…you get the idea!

11. Talk To People Who Are Also Grieving

You don’t have to be alone. There are other people who are going through the same thing you are, and they can help you deal with your grief.

People who have experienced loss can provide support for each other, which is especially helpful when there is no one else to talk to.

If you’re not sure where to start, try joining a group or community of people who share common interests or concerns, such as an online support group or “Griefshare” class at your local church (which teaches participants how to cope with grief).

12. Join A Support Group

If you’re looking for support, joining a support group may be the best way to go. Support groups are informal gatherings of people with similar experiences who meet regularly to talk about those experiences, share coping strategies, and help one another through the rough patches. 

You may have heard about them from television shows like “The Biggest Loser” or “Survivor,” or even read about them in magazines like People or on Buzzfeed. 

These types of organized support groups exist all over the world for example, there are 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous that provide peer support as well as professional therapy sessions at higher levels (as well as being free).

There are also many unstructured groups that meet informally at coffee shops or other locations when they feel ready for conversation or discussion. In these cases it’s up to you whether or not you want someone else leading your meetings (usually just someone who is willing) so it’s easier than starting from scratch! 

Just make sure that everyone feels comfortable saying what they need without feeling judged by others present before committing yourself fully; some people feel more secure speaking up while others remain silent until someone asks them something directly…


Grief is a journey, and the support of others can be very helpful on that journey. If you’re looking for more ways to connect with people who understand what you’re going through, we hope these tips will help.

Further Reading

Here are some additional articles that may be helpful for building a support system during times of grief:

How to Build a Grief Support System: This article provides guidance on how to build a support system after a loss, including tips on identifying potential supporters and communicating with them effectively.

Coping with Grief and Bereavement While Living Alone: This article offers practical advice for those who are grieving while living alone, including tips on building a support system and taking care of yourself during this difficult time.


What is grief?

Grief is a natural response to loss. It can manifest in a variety of emotional and physical ways, including sadness, anger, guilt, and physical symptoms like fatigue or headaches. Grief is a highly individual experience, and there is no “right” way to grieve.

What is a grief support system?

A grief support system is a network of people who can provide emotional, practical, and/or spiritual support during times of grief. This can include family and friends, support groups, therapists or counselors, and other professionals.

How do I build a grief support system?

Building a grief support system involves identifying potential supporters, communicating your needs and boundaries, and making use of available resources. Some people find support groups or therapy helpful, while others rely on family and friends. The important thing is to reach out and ask for help when you need it.

How can I take care of myself during times of grief?

Self-care is an important part of the grieving process. This can include getting enough rest, eating well, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you joy or peace. It’s also important to be patient and compassionate with yourself, and to seek professional help if needed.