Helping a Loved One Through Difficult Times

Sometimes, it’s really okay to not be absolutely fine. In life, there are downtimes. It’s not a crime, nobody gets sued.

So, on any occasion you see that cheerful guy in class looking so forlorn or the sister with the high note in church with teary eyes, you should understand it’s a phase.

Indeed, our loved ones are humans too; blood runs through their veins and there can’t always be happy moments.

During difficult times, how do you help out?

For everyone in a difficult time, I could bet their thinking faculty more or less shuts down with a grading to the intensity of the fire they are scaling through. For some,they decide to run a tap of tears whilst others might decide to apportion a bit of the bitter lime they are tasting to everyone…oh my! How depressing! But that’s why they are our loved ones, right? So, we could scoop some love out of our tank to them when they are weary.

You can always be a shoulder to lean on.

In times like this, here is what to do:

1. Be a Good Observant

Pay close attention to the situation on ground. If the person in this situation isn’t speaking, find out if there are any pointers. Be vigilant.

2. Be affirmative

When they talk about the struggle, step into their shoes by imagination. You could relate it with a tough time you went through; it really goes a long way when you tell them you really do understand how it feels, be it sadness, fear or anxiety.

3. Open your ears

If there’s anything they really want to say in this situation, be willing to listen, nod through it all. Do not interrupt, just listen.

{Read: How to Be a Better Listener}

4. Comfort

If they want to cry, let them. But stretch a hand towards them, affirm you understand, speak soothing words with low tones. Sometimes, no speech is needed and in other cases, it might be a facial expression. Just be ready to chip in any mode of comfort that could help. If physical contact is appropriate, hugging and holding of hands might be of great help.

5. Let it lay low

If the difficult time came about as a result of an oversight, do not be a judge and pass blames. Do not add fire to injury. You can do that when the coast is clear. Leave the damage as it is, at least for that moment, and help in whatever way you can.

6. Stay in the lane

Do not sway. Walk on the same lane with them. If they aren’t open to answering questions, refrain from asking.


Sorrow may last for a night but joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5

No one can wear a sad look forever but some people need a hand to show them the glint in the darkest nights. Help them take this walk. Nothing lasts for ever; struggles only make one stronger.

On a brighter side, challenges only come to those who are brave.

No matter how it seems, always be willing to help a loved one find the exit door from a difficult time. It is always open.

{Read: Living Through Grief and Loss}


Have you ever had to deal with grief or help a loved one through it? Can you please share your experience in the comments, if you do not mind?

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