How to Support Your Partner with Grief

As part of one of the largest providers of hospice care services in the US, the medical professionals at Capital Caring Health have been helping patients and their loved ones grapple with grief for over 45 years.

One thing we’ve learned in all that time is that everyone experiences grief in their own unique way. Some people cry. Some people get angry. Some people don’t say anything at all. When it’s your partner that’s in mourning, it isn’t always easy to know the right way to help them in their time of need.

At Capital Caring Health, we always try to be there for anyone who needs our help. If you’re wondering how to support your partner with grief, here are some things to keep in mind…

4 Tips for Helping Your Partner Deal with Grief

Don’t Just Talk, Listen

When someone we care about is sad, it’s often tempting to try to fill every silence with words of love and support. Although reminding your partner how important they are to you and how valid their feelings are is certainly necessary, it’s also important to let them do the talking sometimes, even if what they have to say isn’t as positive or optimistic as you’d like.

Don’t dismiss or devalue your partner’s feelings; instead, reaffirm their value and give them permission to grieve. Make sure they know that it’s okay for them to not be okay. Finally, get comfortable with the quiet. They won’t always be willing or able to talk, and that’s okay, too.

Give Them Space

Like silence, sometimes being left alone is what a person needs most of all. Obviously, this is easier said than done. If your partner is in a state of emotional turmoil, you want to be by their side as much as possible. You want to hold them close and keep them safe.

When mourning, not everyone responds to such close attention. Even people who normally relish spending time with their loved ones might need some “me time.” If you’re not sure when you should be doting and when you should make yourself scarce, don’t be afraid to ask. Assure them that they won’t hurt your feelings by asking to be alone, then do your best to accommodate them.


A pair of women holding hands while lowering their heads in mourning

Pick Up the Slack

Sometimes when people are mourning, they throw themselves into their work or their chores. It allows them to focus their emotional energies in a productive way and also serves as an occasional distraction to keep them from dwelling on negative emotions.

Not everyone is like that, however. In fact, many people find it difficult to concentrate even on simple, everyday tasks like doing the laundry, washing the dishes, or even cooking their own meals. This is a natural part of the grieving process. Do what you can to pick up the slack for the time being.

Don’t Let Them Wallow

As crucial as it is that your partner has time and permission to grieve, there are times when someone who is hurting can get lost in that hurt. They wallow in their grief and obsess over it. This is normal in the beginning, but if it continues for weeks or even months, it will inevitably take a toll on your partner’s life and mental health.

After the initial shock of loss has passed, gradually begin encouraging your partner to get out of the house, to stay active, or to do things that they enjoy. Don’t be pushy; it’s okay to take “no” for an answer. But be persistent. Don’t stop encouraging them. 

Get Professional Grief Support at Capital Caring Health

At Capital Caring Health, we know that helping someone deal with their grief can be almost as difficult as dealing with grief yourself. That’s why we’re proud to offer free professional grief support and counseling services to anyone and everyone, even those who have never used any of our services before.

Neither you nor your loved ones need to have been a patient of Capital Caring Health in the past to utilize our one-on-one counseling or support group services. To learn more about these and other Capital Caring Health services, contact us today.

Whatever you need, we’re here to help.

Reach out to one of our care experts today.