When a friend, colleague or family member is going through the grieving process, there is so much more you can do for them then just sending flowers. Having the support of friends and family can make all the difference.
Here are ten more suggestions:
- Help the person call family and friends to let them know about the funeral/memorial service. Telling people over and over again about the passing of a loved one can be extremely difficulty for the bereaved. Having a few close friends and family members help with this task can lift a heavy burden.
- If the family has to fly to another destination for the burial, help them make travel arrangements. In most cases travel arrangements will need to be made at the very last minute and having someone help navigate this task is a wonderful gift you can give someone. When my mom passed away one of her dear friends was a Travel Agent and she took care of making all the flight arrangements for us to fly from California to South Dakota where my mom wished to be buried.
- Attend the funeral. Unless it is a closed family funeral, having friends and family around at this very difficult time can mean a great deal to your friend or family member.
- Be Understanding and patient. Your friend or family member may not know what they need right now. Your willingness to be ready, willing and able to assist when they need support will be a cherished gift.
- Be sure they are taking care of themselves. Keep up with them on the basics. Are they eating? Are they getting up in the morning and taking a shower? Are they getting out of the house? Are they getting regular exercise? If not, talk to them about their well being.
- If they are experiencing deep emotional grief, assist them in finding a grief support group or professional counselor that can assist them. You may want to offer to attend a grief support group with them to give them emotional support. See our website for Resources on Grief Support Groups http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/grief_support_groups.html
- Help them put together a Memory Box to keep mementos and cherished items from their loved one.
- Help them create a DVD of photos and videos of the person’s life. My uncle made a beautiful DVD with pictures from my Aunt Carol’s life and included some of her favorite songs.
- Make a CD of the person’s favorite songs and/or uplifting songs to brighten their spirit when they are starting to feel lonely.
- Help them create a memorial website in honor of the person that has passed away. There are many memorial websites that are easy to set up and many of them are free or inexpensive to maintain. The Virtual Memorial Garden allows you to set-up a virtual Memorial for free – http://www.virtualmemorialgarden.net
What did your friends and family do for you when you went through a loss that made you feel better?
What did you wish someone had done for you?
Warm Thoughts, Lori
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© 2009 Lori Pederson
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