There is so much processing and emotions that go with losing a loved one, and I think I, along with many people, fall into the trap of not knowing what to do or how to help someone who is grieving. After walking through this with my family and families I have worked with, here are some practical ways I believe you can help someone going through a loss:
- Create a meal train for the family-Giving food is such a practical way to bless someone in so many seasons of life. We all need food and it is so nice not to worry about cooking when you are grieving. Bringing breakfast food in addition to dinners is also so helpful and something many don’t think about!
- Help with lawn care or repair work for family if there is house work still needing to be done. TAKL and other services like this can be a great resource to outsource various odd jobs to someone when you can’t physically be there to help them.
- Start a GoFundMe for the family-Creating a fund that people can contribute to is one of the most meaningful things that you can do for a family, especially if the death was unexpected.
- Pay for house cleaning– If you’ve lost a loved one, then you know that you will have visitors. And, to add to that, it can be stressful having visitors over to a dirty house. Giving the gift of house cleaning can be a huge blessing to someone who doesn’t have the capacity to clean.
- Offer to watch the kids– If the person grieving has young kids, it can be especially helpful to pick them up and give the person grieving some important alone time.
- Check in on them by stopping by or calling-This is especially important after the dust has settled in those first few weeks. The person grieving will still be in the thick of grief but most people have gone back to their normal lives.
- Offer ways to relieve stress and anxiety- This may look different for each person. Perhaps it could be gifting an appointment to get a massage or going on a walk with them.
- Give recommendations for grief counselors- The person may not be in a head space to act on this information in the immediate, but it would be helpful to share ideas of counselors they can talk to when they are ready.
- Give them a memento or object that represents the lost family member- One woman I know had a quilt made of all of her lost loved one’s favorite t-shirts. Think outside the box.
- Give gift cards– Gift cards, similar to the GoFundMe, are just good for all of the random items they made need to be purchasing following the passing of their loved one.
- Share sweet memories of lost loved one– Text, call, or email the person grieving with a good memory you have of the person who passed. It keeps their memory alive which is so meaningful to those grieving.
- Wine toast on important anniversaries-Giving wine and being with the person grieving on important dates for their lost loved one such as a wedding anniversary, birthday, anniversary of passing, etc. is a great way to continue their memory.
- Planting and dedicate a tree– This may not be for everyone, but some may want a physical reminder of their lost loved one, and planting a tree in their honor can be a way to do that.
- Give the gift of Sunny Care Services- Giving the gift of Sunny Care Services to those grieving will take the burdensome tasks of closing their lost loved one’s life off their plate so they focus on getting to their new normal. Contact us for more information.
Of course, some of these recommendations may not be a good fit for the person grieving, but this is a good list to start thinking. Most importantly, those grieving typically just want to know they are not alone, so just being with them can sometimes be the biggest gift you can give.