When someone dies, there are a lot of ways that people handle their grief. Some lose themselves in it, and feel everything right away. Some try their best to move on with their lives because dwelling on the tragedy doesn’t help their emotional state.

There’s no “right way” to handle death.

Everyone is entitled to feel and grieve however they need to. If people are sad, let them be sad. No one owns grief. No one claims grief as only their own. No one should fault someone for their feelings, whatever they may be. You can’t control how you feel. You can be sad about more than one thing at the same time. You can simply be sad for a situation and for your friends who are grieving.

Experiencing death is a hard thing to go through. Some people may have never experienced the death of someone close to them and when it happens for the first time they don’t know how to process it. Some people have experienced more than one death in their lifetime, and understand their individual process of grief, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Once again, there’s no “right way” to handle death.

If someone wants to talk about the tragedy, don’t shut them down. If someone doesn’t want to talk about it, don’t force them to open up. Everyone processes things at different speeds, and feels emotions at different intensities.

It’s not right to say, “He/She isn’t grieving enough” or “He/She isn’t entitled to feel that way.” Other people’s feelings aren’t on trial for you to judge. Everyone is going through something, and it’s our job to make sure they get through this experience no matter how they go about doing it.

There’s no “right way” to handle death.

There is a right way, however, to support those around you during a difficult time. Be understanding. Give their feelings validation, regardless if it’s what you’re feeling. Be open: to listen, to talk, to sit in silence, to think, to do something completely unrelated.

The “right” thing to do in a time of crisis is to simply be there for those who need you, to be supportive of everyone regardless of how they are feeling, and to work towards getting through an unbelievable and tragic event with those you love and care about.