The Power of a Support System During Times of Grief

When we lose someone we love, it can be difficult to know how to cope with our grief. We might feel isolated and alone, especially if the person who died was the primary caregiver or parent in the family. When that person dies, all of a sudden you find yourself having to rely on others for help and support. 

It can be hard for people who haven’t experienced loss before to know how best to offer comfort during this time of intense grief and sorrow. 

In this article, I’m going to outline some steps that will help guide you through these difficult times while also helping others understand what they can do to help you move forward without suffering alone:

Grief Matters: How to Help a Grieving Person
Building a support system after a loss is essential for healing and can provide comfort and a sense of belonging.
It’s important to identify the type of support you need and to reach out to friends, family, and other resources for help.
Consider joining a support group or seeking professional counseling or therapy to get the support you need.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to accept support from others.
Remember that grief is a process and that healing takes time. Be patient with yourself and don’t rush the healing process.

Know What You Need Most

It’s important to know what you need most. This can be a difficult question, because it may feel like you need everything and that’s okay. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings and needs as they come up, regardless of how big or small they seem.

Once you know what you need most, it’s time to figure out the best way to get this need met. Do you have someone in your life who can help? Would adding one more person into the mix make things better or worse? And if it does work out well with an additional person, how do we know if our needs are being met?

It’s easy for others to miss out on recognizing our feelings and needs when we don’t ask them directly (or at all). That doesn’t mean that caring people won’t notice what they can do; sometimes they just forget to ask us first! 

Communicating clearly is key here don’t leave anything up for interpretation! Use specific words when explaining what will make things easier for YOU right now.

Building a support system after a loss can seem overwhelming, but finding strength in community is essential. Learn how to build a support system after a loss with these tips and strategies.” – Finding Strength in Community: How to Build a Support System After a Loss

Ask for What You Need

It’s important to keep in mind that grief is an individual process. What you need in order to heal might not be what I need, or what your best friend needs. 

You know yourself better than anyone else does, and it’s important that you ask for help in the ways that make sense for you. 

If a friend offers their support but it doesn’t feel right or useful for your situation, tell them so! No one should have to feel obligated to provide something they aren’t capable of giving. 

And if someone offers something you don’t want or need at all say “no thanks!” Don’t be afraid of asking people who love and care about you if they can offer some assistance during this difficult time; more often than not, their willingness will surprise and delight both parties involved

Emotional SupportListening, comfort, empathy, encouragement
Practical HelpErrands, childcare, meals, transportation
InformationAdvice, resources, knowledge
UnderstandingPatience, tolerance, forgiveness, flexibilit

Keep Your Support System Informed About What You Need

It can be hard to know if you need help, especially when emotions are running high. You may not know what you need until it’s offered to you. 

Try asking for what you want and see how others respond. For example, if someone offers to bring over dinner, say yes! If someone offers to talk about their own experience with loss or grief, accept the invitation and let them share their story with you.

If family members or friends ask how they can help after a death in the family, it is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) for them to suggest that they visit more often or stay longer during visits until things get easier for everyone involved…but don’t feel guilty about turning down an offer that doesn’t make sense right now.”

There are many ways to build a support system for grief and loss. Check out these 10 tips for building a strong support system during difficult times.” – 10 Ways to Build a Support System for Grief and Loss

Offer Specific Help to Your Support System Members

Your support system members will be busy and overwhelmed, so offer specific help. Instead of asking your friends to bring you food every day, ask them to make one meal each week. If they ask how they can help, don’t assume that everyone wants the same thing from their time together. In fact, it’s best not to assume anything at all! 

It’s easy for us humans to forget about what others need when we are going through our own grief process. If you want someone to come over but don’t know if they have time because of work or other obligations, ask them explicitly before assuming that they do plan on coming over every week (or even more than once a month). 

Also keep in mind that people may need different things at different times some may need a listening ear while others might just want someone there with them physically while they go through paperwork related or otherwise related to life after death (which can take months or years).

It is also important not to be afraid of asking for help yourself; this doesn’t mean you’re weak or incapable—it means that we all have different needs during times like these!

Identify Signs of Stress in Yourself and Others

Stress is a normal part of life, but it can become harmful if you’re unable to manage it. Stress can be physical, mental or emotional. 

Stress is an adaptive response to change or perceived threat and has been shown to have both negative and positive effects on health and well-being.

Stress can come from many sources: work, relationships, life changes (like getting married or having children), health issues like cancer or any combination thereof. 

No matter where the source originates, you should know what signs stress looks like in you so that you can take appropriate action before things get out of hand.

Dealing with grief alone can be overwhelming and isolating. Find out why you don’t have to go through grief alone and learn how to build a support system.” – Don’t Go Through Grief Alone: How to Build a Support System

Focus on Coping Skills That You Can Control

Take a walk, do some yoga, or enjoy a hot bath. These are all examples of things you can do to help yourself feel better.

Explore new activities and hobbies that you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the time for yet. It’s good to be busy and distracted sometimes!

Spend more time with family and friends who make you happy—and less time around people who don’t support your well-being or give advice about how they think you should handle the situation (if they don’t know what happened).

Coping SkillsExamples
MindfulnessMeditation, deep breathing, yoga
Self-careExercise, healthy eating, rest
CreativityWriting, art, music
ConnectionSocializing with friends and family, joining support groups

Don’t Forget to Laugh

Laughter is one of the best ways to get through a hard time. When you’re focusing on your grief, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the negative emotions that come with it and forget that there are other things out there in the world that will make you feel good. 

So don’t forget about laughter! Laughing can help you feel better by releasing endorphins, which naturally make us feel happier when they enter our bodies.

Laughing can also help us get through difficult situations when we laugh at something funny, we release some tension and temporarily forget our troubles for just a moment or two. 

Laughing can also help us feel less alone or isolated during times when we might otherwise feel isolated because no one understands exactly how we’re feeling (e.g., when going through divorce). 

Finally, laughing can help us feel more positive overall as well as connecting with others who are laughing too there’s nothing like sharing a good joke with someone else!

Creating a supportive network after a loss can be a challenge, but it’s essential for healing. Get tips and strategies for building a supportive network during difficult times.” – Creating a Supportive Network After a Loss: Tips and Strategies

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is important, even when your life has been turned upside down by the death of a loved one. 

If you don’t take care of yourself, it will be harder to overcome the grief and move on with your life. 

Here are some ways you can begin taking care of yourself:

  • Start with small steps. Don’t try to do everything at once; instead, take it slowly and build up your self-care routine over time.
  • Get enough sleep every night so that you feel rested and energized during the day.
  • Eat healthy meals made from fresh ingredients whenever possible (instead of eating fast food or frozen dinners).
  • Practice yoga or meditation as part of your daily routine so that you can learn how to relax properly and let go of tension that builds up throughout the day.

Spend Time Reflecting with Online Resources and Support Groups

Online support groups can be a great resource for people going through grief, especially when they’re unsure what to expect. They are also a great way to connect with others who are experiencing the same thing. 

For example, you might want to join an online support group if you’ve just lost your spouse and need help processing that loss. Online support groups allow people from all over the world to connect and share experiences in real time or via message boards or email listservs.

You can use these resources as places where you learn about how other people have dealt with similar issues in their lives, ask questions about things that may be confusing you during this tough time, and get advice from people who have been there before or even seek out those who have gone through similar situations so that they know exactly what it feels like to go through something like this (which is very important).

Having a support system is crucial for coping with grief and loss. Find out why having a support system is important and how to build one.” – Grief and Loss: The Importance of Having a Support System

Don’t Suffer Alone, Reach Out to a Grief Counselor or Therapist

While it’s important to surround yourself with positive reminders of your loved one, sometimes that’s just not enough. 

You may need to seek professional help from a grief counselor or therapist. If you’re still unsure, here are some signs that it may be time for this kind of support:

  • You find yourself unable to move on and are constantly reliving the moment of your loved one’s passing.
  • You feel like everyone else has moved on while you remain stuck in the past.
  • Your emotions have become unmanageable and interfere with daily activities and relationships (e.g., crying uncontrollably when an unrelated event reminds you of your loss).

If any of these describe how you’re feeling right now, don’t hesitate! Reach out today so that recovery can begin as soon as possible.

Reasons to Reach OutExamples
Professional GuidanceA therapist can provide expert advice and support tailored to your specific needs.
ConfidentialityTalking to a therapist can provide a safe space to express your feelings without fear of judgment or consequences.
ValidationA therapist can help validate your emotions and experiences, and help you work through them in a healthy way.
Coping StrategiesA therapist can help you develop coping strategies that are effective for you and your situation.


Remember that you’re not alone and don’t have to face your grief alone. Reach out for help from family, friends, support groups or a therapist as soon as possible so that you have someone to lean on during this difficult time.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for learning more about grief and building a support system:

Grief and bereavement during COVID-19: This article provides insights into the unique challenges of grieving during the COVID-19 pandemic and offers guidance on how to support the bereaved during this difficult time.

Grief – how to support the bereaved: This resource from Better Health Victoria provides practical tips for supporting someone who is grieving, including how to offer emotional support, practical assistance, and how to communicate effectively.


What is a support system?

A support system is a network of people who provide emotional, physical, and social support during times of need. In the context of grief, a support system can help individuals cope with the challenges of loss and navigate the grieving process.

Why is a support system important during times of grief?

Having a support system can help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness, provide a sense of belonging, and offer emotional, practical, and social support during times of grief. A support system can also help individuals navigate the grieving process and promote healing and recovery.

Who can be part of a support system?

A support system can include family, friends, co-workers, religious or spiritual leaders, support groups, and mental health professionals. It’s important to identify the types of support you need and to reach out to the appropriate resources for help.

How can I build a support system during times of grief?

Building a support system can involve reaching out to family and friends, joining a support group, seeking professional counseling or therapy, and using online resources to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. It’s important to identify the types of support you need and to reach out for help when you need it.

How can I maintain a support system after a loss?

Maintaining a support system after a loss can involve regular check-ins with friends and family, attending support group meetings or therapy sessions, and using online resources to stay connected with others who understand what you’re going through. It’s important to stay connected with your support network and to continue to reach out for help when you need it.