Supporting your friend immediately after the loss of their parent can be very difficult, especially when you have a personal connection with that parent. Before you go to see your friend, it is really important that you cope and are in a good place with yourself. This way, you will be able to be a good friend to them and help him or her through their own loss.
It’s common to feel guilty for still having both of your parents or having complained previously about your parents. You might feel scared that if your friend could lose a parent it could happen to anyone, including you. Don’t worry that you feel this way; it’s completely normal. Seeing your friend so upset is very difficult and stirs up more unexpected, turbulent emotions inside of you that are very hard to deal with. Seek other people to speak with to sort through your own feelings. One thing you are going to have to accept is that your friend is going to need all the support they can get, which means that putting your needs aside during conversations with them is vital to your friendship. Here are a few ways in which you can cope with yourself before talking to your friend:
- Crafts: As crazy as it sounds, doing some art can be a very meditative way to relax and let out your frustrations. You can even make something for your friend.
- Baking: Recipes for tasty baked goods tend to have a lot of kinesthetic steps that many people find therapeutic. Let out your frustrations while kneading dough or blending chocolate chips, and then be able to have some delicious treats when you’re done. Here is my favorite recipe - http://www.food.com/recipe/banana-chocolate-chip-loaf-397754
- Talking with a parent or adult: It can be very helpful to let out your feelings to an adult who you feel knows you well. Find a parent or a teacher in school you feel comfortable sharing with, and you may be surprised on the amount of advice and feedback they have to give.