How Can I Help My Boyfriend Feel Better After His Dad Passes Away?

A gift basket of your boyfriend's favorite treats can lift his spirits.
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Whether your boyfriend's father was a close presence in your lives or a distant figure, his death may leave your boyfriend deep in grief. Mourning can be a process that lasts for months, and you may find yourself uncertain of how to comfort your boyfriend after such a close loss. There are several ways to help a grieving boyfriend and ease his pain.

1 Words of Consolation

Whether you pen your thoughts in a note or say them to your boyfriend in person, you should express how sorry you are for his loss and explain that you care about him, according to the article "How to Express Sympathy: What to Say and What Not to Say" on Avoid telling your boyfriend that he will soon feel better or making assumptions about the family's religious beliefs, which can undermine your boyfriend's grief. If you have any fond memories of your boyfriend's father, your boyfriend may appreciate hearing about them. You can also ask that he tell any of his own stories when he feels ready to talk.

2 Gifts to Soothe the Soul

Gifts can be a warm reminder of your boyfriend's father's life. A scrapbook of old family pictures or a picture slideshow for the funeral may be appreciated. Gifts such as food baskets can also be comforting. Sending food gift baskets to your boyfriend's home or the funeral home can be helpful if feeding guests is a concern, according to the article "Sending Condolence Gifts."

3 Helping Out

You can also offer help in the form of reading a eulogy at the funeral or helping your boyfriend handle any of the funeral or memorial planning, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publication "A LifeCare Guide to Helping Others Cope With Grief." If you do extend help, be prepared to follow through and accept your boyfriend's decision if he says he does not need help. You can always extend offers to help again in the future.

4 After the Funeral

Grief often extends long past the funeral, so keeping an eye out for your boyfriend during this time can still be helpful. Frequent visits or phone calls can help the grieving person feel less alone. Sometimes, grief may grow worse after the funeral or your boyfriend may show warning signs of suicide, such as mentioning that he wants to join his father. If his grief does not seem to improve, suggest that he see a doctor. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for more help (see Resources).

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.