8 Things You Can Do to Connect with Someone Who Lost a Loved One
We are not grief professionals; we are grievers ourselves.
When someone you know loses a loved one, it’s never easy to know what to do or say. That’s because everyone’s grief is different, so finding ways to acknowledge their loss and not appearing insensitive is important.
Bereavement experts agree that there’s no end of the wrong things to say, including “all things happen for a reason.” While this may be your philosophy, it’s not something someone dealing with grief wants to hear.
We know that helping a loved one during their grief is very hard. It might be one of the hardest things to do in your relationship, but it is the most crucial. Countless interviews with grieving people all come up with the same answer- the best way to help is to just show up. And often.
Consider these options when you are at a loss for what to do or say for your grieving loved one.
- Ask if you can buy them lunch. Get them out of the house, since it’s so easy to want to stay put. A different environment can be refreshing. Be prepared for rejection, however. They may not want to be in public. Sometimes just offering to do something is enough.
- If the above is not an option (this is likely), offer to bring lunch to them. If they aren’t ready to go out, bring take-out from their favorite restaurant or coffee shop.
- Put a cleaning crew together. Supporting a loved one can take the form of getting friends together to help with some household tasks that have been put on hold, including housework or yard work. Always get permission first because that pile of what seems to be trash might have sentimental value to your friend.
- Cook. Instead of everyone bringing frozen meals, how about everyone gets together to prep and make food? This is a good way to celebrate love and loss as a group and make sure loved one and their family have good food for a longer time.
- Establish a memorial. This can be something public like a tree or bench in memory of their loved one that the community can enjoy. Or a grief gift could be something private that they can celebrate on their own.
- Write a message. Although your local card shop likely has a fine assortment of messages, reaching out with a handwritten letter can be treasured for years once the initial pain has faded.
- Gift them to a spa day. Being pampered may not take their mind off their grief, completely and we are certain it never will. It can, however, be a welcomed distraction.
- A “rain check.” Remind them that you are there when they are ready. This is great way to remind them that you are there, no matter what, no matter when, no matter where. Just always there.
We are not grief professionals; we are grievers ourselves. We offer each and every act of kindness with an open-heart, love and light. Everyone heals differently. Each person’s experience with grief is unique. The only wrong thing you can do is nothing at all. Please reach out if you are in need of assistance as a supporter or griever. We are here for you.