The loss of someone close to you is devastating. Whether it’s an unexpected loss or someone who has lost the battle against a diagnosis. People handle situations differently and it can be hard to offer support and know the right things to do or say to the ones we love. When the funeral is over and the friends and family have gone home, the numbness recedes and reality sets in. This can be the hardest and darkest time. Whether you are a friend or the family, this is the time you need to offer the most support. We’ve compiled a list of ways to show your support and help them through this time.
1. Just show up Be there for them. They may not want to talk about it yet, and that is fine. You don’t have to say a word, just offer a hug or a shoulder to lean on. Just being present is huge.
2. Let them talk Help them remember the good times. Funny stories, how they met, etc. Even if you’ve heard the story 100 times, listen to it again like it was the first time. Ask questions. Show that you care and are engaged in what they are saying.
3. Gift Basket One thoughtful gift is a small basket of things that you normally don’t think of during times of grieving. Check out our monthly InJoyBox subscription box. It’s a great way to show that you care and are thinking of them. We have boxes for men, women and kids with items customized for them.
4. Food Bring by food once a week or so. Whether it’s homemade or fast food. If you don’t live close by you can send food gift cards or order from a local deliver service.
5. Call or Text Pick up the phone or send a quick text just to check on them and tell them you are thinking of them. In the weeks and months after a death, just receiving a text to say “Love you” or “Thinking about you today” is a light in the darkness!
6. Remember special days This is a wound that takes many many years to heal over and it will never go away. By remembering days that are special it shows your continued support. Birthdays, Anniversaries, and even the date of the death are very important to the people grieving. Just a simple “Thinking of you today” can mean so much!
7. Include them Having a get-together, or an outing with friends? Invite them! This is especially important for someone who has lost a spouse. They are trying to get into a new routine and learning how to be alone. Giving the gift of companionship can help with the transition!
8. Offer your help Part of healing is going thru the deceased’s things. This is a very hard time for the grieving person. Offer to help them, but as in #1 & 2 above, just be there for them and let them talk. Let them tell you about memories of the items, or cry or yell. It’s all part of the process.
Grieving is a difficult part of life, and everyone goes through it differently. The grief doesn’t end when the funeral does, and it takes years and years before the pain becomes bearable. Being a good friend or helping a family member deal with their grief is hard, but hopefully the suggestions above will help you when you just aren’t sure what to do. There are some great websites that offer grief counseling and support. Here is a link to a great website with lots of resources depending on your specific needs: Coping with Loss: 115 Helpful Websites
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