305 Questions to Ask Someone Who Lost a Loved One

Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through. And sometimes words fail us when we try to comfort someone going through it. You want to be there for them, but how? Asking the right questions can open the door to healing talks and show that you genuinely care.

Here’s a list of questions to help your friend open up, feel supported, and maybe even start healing.

About Their Emotional State

  1. How are you feeling today?
  2. What emotions are you dealing with most often?
  3. Is there a specific time of day when you feel most emotional?
  4. Do you have moments when it all feels too much to handle?
  5. Is there anything that’s giving you comfort right now?
  6. Are you getting enough sleep?
  7. Do you want to talk about it, or would you rather not?
  8. Are you keeping busy, or do you need more downtime?
  9. How are you handling moments when you’re alone?
  10. Are certain places or things triggering emotions for you?
  11. Are you able to focus on tasks and responsibilities?
  12. Have you been eating okay?
  13. Is it hard for you to talk to other people about this?
  14. How are you coping when people ask how you’re doing?
  15. Are there certain people who are making this harder for you?
  16. Do you feel like you’re under pressure to act a certain way?
  17. Is there anything you wish people knew about what you’re going through?
  18. How is your family handling this?
  19. Do you have good moments amid the sadness?
  20. Are you crying often?
  21. Do you feel lost or confused?
  22. Do you feel like you can express your feelings openly?
  23. Are you having trouble making decisions?
  24. Are you avoiding anything that reminds you of your loved one?
  25. How are your energy levels?
  26. How are you balancing work and grieving?
  27. Do you get angry or frustrated easily?
  28. Are you worried about anything specific?
  29. Is there a feeling you can’t shake off?
  30. Are you finding comfort in a particular activity or thing?
  31. Are there days when you feel somewhat normal, and does that worry you?
  32. Is there something that makes you feel a tiny bit better, even for a moment?
  33. How are you handling moments of intense sadness?
  34. Do you feel like it’s okay to laugh or find joy right now?
  35. Do you sometimes feel numb or disconnected?
  36. Are you experiencing mood swings more frequently?
  37. Do you have fears or anxieties that have gotten worse?
  38. Are you struggling to feel hopeful about anything?
  39. Do you feel more stressed or overwhelmed by small things lately?
  40. Do you feel isolated?
  41. Do you have people you can talk to openly?
  42. Are you open to seeking professional help?
  43. How does it feel when you look at photos or keepsakes?
  44. Are you experiencing guilt or regret?
  45. Do you have fears about the future?

About Day-to-Day Support

  1. Do you need help with chores or errands?
  2. Can I bring you some meals?
  3. Would you like company, or do you prefer to be alone?
  4. Can I help with any paperwork or arrangements?
  5. Are there ways I can support your family, too?
  6. Would you like someone to talk to at night?
  7. Do you need someone to walk your dog or feed your pets?
  8. Can I pick up groceries for you?
  9. Is there anything specific you need right now?
  10. Do you need rides to appointments or events?
  11. Would it help if I checked in on you regularly?
  12. Can I assist with household repairs or maintenance?
  13. Would you like me to come over and just sit with you?
  14. Do you want help organizing memorial things, like photos?
  15. Would you like me to handle any phone calls or messages for you?
  16. Can I help you sort through your belongings?
  17. Do you need help with child care?
  18. Would you like assistance with funeral plans?
  19. Do you want someone to exercise with?
  20. Can I help with lawn care or outdoor maintenance?
  21. Do you want someone to go shopping with you?
  22. Would you like me to coordinate help from others?
  23. Do you need someone to go with you to support meetings?
  24. Can I help you set up online accounts for bills or other tasks?
  25. Do you want company when visiting the gravesite or memorial?
  26. Do you need a break from being the strong one?
  27. Would it be helpful for me to remind you about important dates?
  28. Can I assist with cooking or meal planning?
  29. Do you want help finding a therapist or counselor?
  30. Can I run errands for your family members?
  31. Would you like me to read to you or play music?
  32. Do you need help setting up a memorial fund or charity?
  33. Would you like me to take care of your plants?
  34. Do you need privacy to sort out your feelings?
  35. Can I help you write thank-you notes or other correspondence?
  36. Do you need assistance with financial planning or budgeting?
  37. Do you need help cleaning your home?
  38. Would you like me to help with laundry?
  39. Can I assist you with tech stuff, like emails or social media?
  40. Would you like me to go with you to religious services or gatherings?
  41. Can I help you prepare for any upcoming events, like birthdays or holidays?
  42. Would you appreciate reminders for taking medications?
  43. Can I help you manage incoming donations or gifts?
  44. Would you like me to arrange a social gathering to lighten your mood?
  45. Can I help you reorganize a room or space in your house?
  46. Can I help you reorganize a room or space in your home?

About Understanding The Loss

  1. Do you want to talk about how they passed, or is it too hard right now?
  2. Have you spoken to anyone else who has gone through something similar?
  3. Are you feeling pressured to “move on” by anyone?
  4. Is there anything that makes you feel guilty or regretful?
  5. Are you facing challenges you didn’t expect?
  6. How do you deal with others who don’t seem to understand your loss?
  7. Are there questions you find yourself asking over and over again?
  8. Do you think other people in your life understand what you’re going through?
  9. Are you scared of forgetting small details about your loved one?
  10. Do you feel like you’ve changed as a person since their passing?
  11. Are you worried about how this will impact your close relationships?
  12. Is there something that triggers your grief more than other things?
  13. Are you having dreams or nightmares about your loved one?
  14. Are you scared about what life will look like without them?
  15. Is there something you wish you could have told them?
  16. Have people’s reactions surprised you in any way?
  17. Are there aspects of the loss that people seem to overlook?
  18. Do you feel a sense of relief in any way, and does that make you feel guilty?
  19. Do you have unanswered questions about their passing?
  20. Are you finding it hard to do things that used to bring you joy?
  21. Is there something you wish you could have done differently?
  22. Do you find yourself talking to them in your thoughts?
  23. Are you rereading old messages or looking at old photos frequently?
  24. How do you feel when you bump into mutual friends or acquaintances?
  25. Do you worry that you’ll lose your emotional connection with them?
  26. Do you find comfort in repeating stories or memories about them?
  27. Are you finding it tough to focus on work or daily tasks?
  28. Are you dreading upcoming holidays or celebrations?
  29. Is there a song or a smell that reminds you of them?
  30. Are there existing family dynamics making the loss more complicated?
  31. How do you feel about the condolences you’re receiving?
  32. Are you afraid of breaking down in public or at unexpected times?
  33. Do you have to explain your loss to people frequently?
  34. Are you finding it hard to eat or maintain an appetite?
  35. Is there something that has helped you make sense of this loss?
  36. Do you feel like you’re coping in a way that would make them proud?

About Their Favorite Shared Memories

  1. What’s a moment with your loved one that always makes you smile?
  2. Do you have a favorite photo of you two together?
  3. Was there a special place you both loved to go to?
  4. Can you share a funny story about your loved one?
  5. Did you have any traditions together?
  6. What was their favorite song?
  7. Does it remind you of good times?
  8. Do you have a favorite holiday memory with them?
  9. What’s the best advice they ever gave you?
  10. Did you share any hobbies or interests?
  11. Was there a specific moment when you felt incredibly close?
  12. Did you and your loved one have a “song”?
  13. What’s a happy memory that stands out in your mind?
  14. Do you remember the first time you met?
  15. What’s something they did that surprised you in a good way?
  16. Did you ever take a trip or vacation together that was memorable?
  17. What’s a simple, everyday moment that became special because of them?
  18. Was there a special meal or dish you enjoyed together?
  19. Do you have a keepsake that reminds you of happy times?
  20. Did you ever celebrate a big life event together?
  21. What qualities did you admire most in them?
  22. Is there a quote or saying that reminds you of them?
  23. Did they have a favorite book or movie you enjoyed together?
  24. What were their happiest moments, in your view?
  25. Did you share any inside jokes?
  26. Were there words or phrases they always used that make you smile now?
  27. Was there an event where you both laughed so hard you cried?
  28. Did you both have a favorite restaurant or type of food?
  29. Do you remember any heartfelt conversations you had?
  30. What was a proud moment you shared?
  31. Was there a particular way they made holidays or celebrations special?
  32. Did you ever solve a problem or overcome a challenge together?
  33. What’s something you learned from them that you still carry with you?
  34. Is there a skill or lesson they taught you?
  35. Do you have a favorite memory of them that involves other family or friends?
  36. What’s something they did that showed their love or friendship to you?

About Coping Mechanisms

  1. Are there any specific activities that help you cope?
  2. Do you find solace in nature or outdoor walks?
  3. Are you listening to music that brings you comfort?
  4. Are there certain friends or family members you lean on more?
  5. Have you tried different breathing exercises to help you relax?
  6. Are you keeping a grief diary?
  7. Do you find it helpful to be physically active?
  8. Are you using any apps or online resources to manage your feelings?
  9. Have you considered taking up an old hobby to distract yourself?
  10. Are you trying to keep a regular sleep schedule?
  11. Are there comforting rituals you perform before bed or when you wake up?
  12. Have you turned to cooking or baking as a form of therapy?
  13. Are you using art or creativity as an outlet for your emotions?
  14. Are there TV shows or movies that provide a temporary escape?
  15. Do you talk to your loved one, even if they’re not here?
  16. Are there foods or meals that make you feel a little better?
  17. Do you find any relief in physical tasks like cleaning or organizing?
  18. Are you surrounding yourself with things that make you feel good?
  19. Do you have any mantras or affirmations you repeat to yourself?
  20. Is gardening or taking care of plants comforting to you?
  21. Do you prefer being in certain spaces where you feel safe?
  22. Have you tried mindfulness or meditation?
  23. Are you revisiting happy memories when you need a lift?
  24. Is taking care of pets helping you cope?
  25. Do you light candles or incense that bring you comfort?
  26. Are you practicing gratitude for the good moments you had?
  27. Do you find it helpful to set small goals for yourself?
  28. Are you leaning into your faith for comfort?
  29. Do you do something special on tough days to get through them?
  30. Have you tried knitting, crocheting, or some other craft?
  31. Are you reading books that help you escape or understand your feelings better?
  32. Do you watch videos or listen to podcasts that uplift you?
  33. Have you explored aromatherapy or other sensory comforts?
  34. Are you spending time with children or young family members?
  35. Do you participate in online communities or forums for support?

About Healing And Moving Forward

  1. Are you thinking about joining a support group?
  2. Do you find certain activities therapeutic?
  3. Are you keeping a journal or diary?
  4. Have you considered speaking to a counselor?
  5. What small victories have you had recently?
  6. Do you think about your loved one when you’re happy?
  7. Are you finding new ways to remember your loved one?
  8. Are you open to creating new traditions?
  9. Have you reached out to old friends or extended family?
  10. Are you doing anything creative to express yourself?
  11. Do you celebrate your loved one’s life in any special ways?
  12. Have you thought about what your loved one would want for you?
  13. Are you learning anything about yourself through this experience?
  14. Do you feel like you’re making progress, even if it’s slow?
  15. Are you talking to people who’ve gone through something similar?
  16. Are you taking time for self-care?
  17. Are there any books or resources you’re finding helpful?
  18. Do you feel any closer to finding peace?
  19. Have you considered taking a short trip or vacation?
  20. Are you planning any memorial activities?
  21. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do that you’re considering now?
  22. Are you able to laugh and find joy in things?
  23. Do you feel like you’re starting to heal, even just a little?
  24. Have you thought about setting new goals for yourself?
  25. Are you considering returning to work or activities you enjoy?
  26. Are you spending time outdoors or in nature?
  27. Are you starting to regain a sense of normality?
  28. Do you feel comfortable talking about your loved one with others?
  29. Have you done anything that felt like a positive step?
  30. Are you making plans for the future?
  31. Have you found any coping strategies that work for you?
  32. Do you think about ways to honor your loved one’s legacy?
  33. Are you considering volunteering or helping others?
  34. Have you found a way to turn your pain into something meaningful?
  35. Are you finding strength you didn’t know you had?

About Long-Term Support

  1. How can I be there for you in the months to come?
  2. Do you see yourself wanting to join groups or events in the future?
  3. Would you like to have regular check-ins as time goes on?
  4. Are there anniversaries or dates we should remember to be extra supportive?
  5. Are you thinking about making any big life changes?
  6. Would you like help with maintaining a memorial for your loved one?
  7. Are you open to long-term counseling or therapy?
  8. Would you like someone to help you with long-term financial planning?
  9. How do you feel about eventually going through your loved one’s belongings?
  10. Would you be interested in a tribute or celebration of life later on?
  11. Is there a charity or cause you’d like long-term support for in honor of your loved one?
  12. Do you think you’ll attend grief counseling or workshops in the future?
  13. Are you considering a move or change in your living situation?
  14. Are you interested in keeping a journal or memoir as a form of long-term coping?
  15. Would you appreciate someone helping you with ongoing legal matters related to your loss?
  16. Do you want to plan trips or getaways to have something to look forward to?
  17. Are you open to celebrating holidays in a new way in the future?
  18. How do you want to handle the traditions you shared with your loved one?
  19. Would you like help with long-term child or pet care plans?
  20. Do you want to participate in events that honor your loved one’s memory?
  21. Are you considering going back to school or taking up new studies?
  22. Would you like to create or commission artwork as a tribute?
  23. Do you plan on maintaining your loved one’s social media or online presence?
  24. Are you interested in writing letters or messages to your loved one as time goes on?
  25. Do you want to be involved in advocacy or awareness related to the cause of their passing?
  26. Would you like to keep a scrapbook or memory box in the long term?
  27. Are you considering adopting new spiritual practices for the long term?
  28. Would you like to set up a scholarship or fund in their name?
  29. How would you like to handle future family events?
  30. Do you want to continue certain hobbies or activities you shared with your loved one?
  31. Are there milestones in your life where you’d wish to particular support?
  32. Are you planning on holding onto or changing personal items like homes or cars?
  33. How can I help you keep your loved one’s memory alive in the years to come?

About Future Plans

  1. Have you thought about going back to work or school?
  2. Do you plan to stay in the same house or make a move?
  3. Are you thinking of taking any trips to clear your mind?
  4. Do you see yourself dating or remarrying in the future?
  5. Are you considering any career changes?
  6. Do you think you’ll take up any new hobbies or interests?
  7. Are there places you want to visit that you had planned to go to with your loved one?
  8. Are you thinking about attending social events again soon?
  9. How do you plan to handle upcoming anniversaries or special dates?
  10. Are you considering adopting or fostering pets?
  11. Do you plan to keep their belongings as is, donate them, or something else?
  12. Are you going to keep their phone number or email active?
  13. Do you plan to return to the routines you had before the loss?
  14. Are you considering going back to school or taking courses?
  15. Will you be revising your will or other legal documents?
  16. Do you think you’ll become more active in community or volunteer work?
  17. Do you see yourself writing a book or articles about your experience?
  18. Are you thinking about changing your lifestyle, like diet or exercise?
  19. Do you plan to seek long-term mental health support?
  20. Will you keep their social media profiles active or memorialized?
  21. Do you plan to sell or keep their car if they have one?
  22. Are you considering moving closer to family or friends?
  23. Do you think you’ll make changes to your living space?
  24. Are you going to change how you spend your holidays?
  25. Will you be changing your emergency contact information?
  26. Are you planning to join any support groups or therapy sessions?
  27. Do you think you’ll get another job if you leave your current one?
  28. Are you thinking about starting a family or expanding your current one?
  29. Do you plan to continue watching shows or reading books you enjoyed together?
  30. Will you keep playing sports or activities you enjoyed as a couple or family?
  31. Are you thinking about dedicating your free time to a cause that is important to them?
  32. Will you continue to follow the same faith practices you did before?
  33. Do you see yourself spending more time with their family?
  34. Are you considering changing your last name back if you were married?
  35. Do you think you’ll keep the same circle of friends?
  36. Are you going to continue to use things that belonged to them?
  37. Do you plan on redecorating your living space?
  38. Are you thinking of taking a break from social media?
  39. Will you be investing or saving money differently?

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I support someone who is grieving?

Supporting someone who’s hurting is tough, but you can make a big difference just by being there for them.

  • Listen: Sometimes, the best thing to do is just listen.
  • Offer help: Like cooking a meal or running errands.
  • Check-in: A text or a call can go a long way.

Don’t say stuff like “They’re in a better place” unless you’re sure it’ll help. Sometimes, it can make people feel worse.

What if the grieving person is not ready to discuss their loss?

Every person deals with grief differently and at their own pace. Be understanding and patient, and respect their process. Non-verbal support or written messages can also be a powerful way to show you’re there for them until they’re ready to talk.

What should one not say or do when talking to someone who lost a loved one?

What NOT to say:

  1. “I know how you feel.”: Even if you’ve been through a similar loss, everyone’s grief is unique. Saying you know how they feel might come off as dismissive.
  2. “At least they lived a long life.”: This tries to put a “positive” spin on the loss but often misses the point that the loved one is still gone.
  3. “They’re in a better place.”: This can be comforting for some, but not everyone shares the same spiritual views.
  4. “It’s time to move on.”: Grieving doesn’t have a set timeline. Telling someone to “move on” can feel like rushing them.
  5. “Let me know if you need anything.”: This is well-intentioned but vague. Offering specific help (“Can I bring you dinner tomorrow?”) is usually more helpful.

What NOT to do:

  1. Avoid them: Even if you’re uncomfortable, avoiding the person can make them feel isolated.
  2. Push them to open up: If they want to talk, they will. Don’t force the conversation toward their feelings about the deceased.
  3. Make it about you: It’s not the time to share your own long stories of grief or loss unless they specifically ask for it.
  4. Offer unwanted advice: Phrases like “You should” or “You will” often don’t help and can feel like you’re telling them how to feel.
  5. Compare Losses: Saying something like, “I lost my dog last year, so I know how you feel,” can be insensitive.

Remember, sometimes the best thing you can do is simply be there, offer a listening ear, and provide quiet support.


Talking about loss is never easy. But the power of a caring question can make all the difference. You don’t have to be a poet or a therapist to help someone through a hard time. Sometimes, just being there to listen is enough. 

So, the next time you’re wondering how to support someone grieving, come back to this list. And remember, everyone’s journey through loss is unique, so take your cues from them and offer your support in a way that feels true to your relationship.

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Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.