“My friend died. This is hard, too.” Time to fill a research gap.

I’m really curious about being helpful in the loss of a friend.


Even the best designed research has gaps.

One major bereavement research project wanted to know who people turn to most for support. They prepared questionnaires and had research packets sent out by funeral homes to people who had lost loved ones six to twenty-four months previously.

The research results are rich in information about who helped. But the packets went to people who were the next of kin. Which tells us something about spouses and parents and children. It doesn’t tell us as much about what is helpful when we have lost a friend.

It’s true in my survey. Only 7.5% of respondents reported on losing a friend. Perhaps because the survey asked people to choose one loss that affected them, and if there was a spouse and a friend, most people will choose the loss of a spouse to talk about.

And yet, the loss of a friend is a real loss.

One of the respondents in my survey wrote, “While I was preparing for his death over those 3 weeks, the toughest part was the months after, as the many things we used to do as friends wasn’t possible.  So, it was loneliness that came in the grieving process that continues as you miss someone you used to spend time with every week.”

I’m really curious about being helpful in the loss of a friend.

So I’m opening a new survey.

A friend, for purposes of this project, is someone that you have interacted with regularly, though not necessarily in person. A friend is not someone who is defined by a social media category. It is someone where each of you would describe the other as a friend.

I am, however, including options for colleague and neighbor in the identification of who died.

I’d love for you to help. Take the survey yourself. Share this post with a friend. The results will help us all. And let me know what needs to be added or changed.

Survey: Being helpful in the loss of a friend

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: