How to Console Your Mate During a Tragedy

Grief is a heavy and life-changing feeling. If you are in a relationship with a person who recently suffered the loss of someone close (whether a sibling, friend or parent), knowing the right thing to do or say can be the hardest thing on the planet. Although you may not think you can do anything to soothe your partner's intense feelings of sadness, your presence and support can make a world of difference.


    • 1

      Understand that all people handle grief differently. When people go through these types of life situations, there is no way to guess how they will behave. Your partner may need silence. He also may need to vent and scream. He may even need to be away from you for a while. Know that these things are not personal and that all he needs in the moment is your support and loyalty, without judgment.

    • 2

      Show your consistent support. Whether your mate wants you to attend a funeral or visit a loved one at a hospital, do your best to be there with him. Think about how your partner is feeling at the time instead of your own feelings. Instead of saying, "That may be too heavy for me now" or "I don't know if I feel welcome," understand that the most important thing is serving as a pillar of strength for your partner. If he requests your presence, he truly means it.

    • 3

      Communicate with her. If you think your mate is ready to open up to you, ask her how she is feeling. Show her you truly care and that you do not in any way consider her feelings and emotions to be a burden to you. Be willing to listen to her even if she wants to say the same thing 100 times or if she makes absolutely no sense. Encourage her to express her feelings about the person she lost or is fearful of losing, whether she wants to speak of her fondest memories or discuss her biggest regrets.

    • 4

      Find out if your partner is having difficulties going about his daily routine, whether at work, socially or around the home. Ask him if he needs your help in any way, from picking up groceries at the supermarket to calling his guitar teacher to say he needs a short break from lessons.

    • 5

      Start healing together. When you are in a close relationship with someone, her pain is your pain, too. Work on healing and picking up the pieces together as a team. Take a serene retreat into the mountains by renting a log cabin and staring at the blue sky. Go on nightly walks together along the beach as you stare at the crashing waves. Connect to each other and get on the road to recovery as a team.

Tips & Warnings

  • Refrain from making remarks such as "I know your aunt is in a much better place" or "Her life was full and happy." These remarks can sound insensitive and thoughtless to a grieving person, as he simply may not agree with your statement. If you are in doubt of what to say, stay silent and offer the pure support of just being there for a hug.
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  • Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

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