Watching your boyfriend grieve after the loss of his grandfather can be emotionally taxing. You may be concerned about how to comfort him, and choosing the right words can prove challenging. Though you cannot erase your boyfriend's grief, there are things you can say to bring comfort during a time of loss.
Things to Say
Though your boyfriend may be grieving, you need not sit by silently. Telling your boyfriend you love him and how much he means to you can show him you care, according to Everplans.com. You can also ask that he share memories of his grandfather, if he feels up to it. The thought of those fishing expeditions can bring relief in the wake of grief. If you have any warm stories to share about his grandfather, let your boyfriend know. Keep watch over him during this time - daily needs can go by the wayside when someone is dealing with grief. Remind him to eat nutritious meals, stick to a workout routine and get plenty of sleep, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Words to Avoid
Watching someone grieve can be uncomfortable - but that does not mean it is wise to tell your boyfriend not to cry or that he will soon "get over it," according to HHS. Comparing your grandfather's loss to the loss of your grandparents should also be avoided. Keep comments focused on your boyfriend and his grief. If you give advice or direction, do so cautiously. "Have you thought about writing your grandfather's eulogy?" may be appreciated more than, "You should write the eulogy."
After a passing, it is acceptable to express your condolences verbally and in writing. You might say, "I was sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. He was a kind and funny person who made me feel welcome. I love you and I am here for you." You don't need to be elaborate. You can express your condolences in a sentence, according to the Emily Post Institute. Simply saying "I am sorry" can be enough. If you did not know your boyfriend's grandfather, keep the focus on your boyfriend instead. Assure him that you understand how difficult the loss must be and that you would like to help.
Sometimes, the loss of a relative can prove too trying. If your boyfriend's grief is affecting his grades, you should encourage him to visit his college or university's counseling center for help. You can also ask if he needs an intermediary to explain his grief to professors. If your boyfriend seems depressed or if he expresses a desire to join his grandfather, encourage him to see a doctor immediately, according to HHS. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for further guidance (see Resources).
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