When your loved one is grieving, you can often feel helpless or unsure how to best support them. Although everybody responds to grief differently, offering practical support is always appreciated. It is also something a bit different to things like greeting cards or flowers. Here are some of our recommendations for practical ways to support a grieving friend:
Offer to go grocery shopping or deliver a meal
When experiencing the loss of a loved one, life’s responsibilities can often feel overwhelming. This can result in many people neglecting their basic needs. When visiting your grieving friend, call them in advance and offer to pick up some things that they need at the supermarket. Even if your friend insists that they have everything they need, a home-cooked meal that is easy to heat and eat will be appreciated and save them a lot of time and energy. Alternatively, buying your friend a subscription to a meal-delivery service such as Hello Fresh is a great way of ensuring they receive healthy, regular meals.
Offer to take care of their children, home, or pets
This suggestion depends on the person’s stage of life, and age of their children. If your friend has school-aged children, offering to pick them up from school gives them one less thing to worry about. Your grieving friend may have to leave town to attend a funeral or to visit family. An offer to take care of their home, children, or pets while they are away is a great way to show that you care.
Offer to help with the funeral arrangements
Organising a funeral can be stressful and emotionally draining. While we here at Rosetown Funeral Home make the process as easy as possible, another friendly face and some extra support goes a long way. Whether that is collecting all of the contact information for friends and family your friend wants to invite to the funeral, helping out-of-town relatives book accommodation, or simply being beside your friend during the process – this offer will not go unappreciated.
Offer some comfort during this stressful time
Grief affects people in unique and sometimes surprising ways. Some people may need help in their day-to-day lives, while others might throw themselves into their daily routines in order to cope. If your friend appears to have everything under control, offer them an additional source of comfort to show your support. Greeting cards and flowers are traditional gifts for a reason, they are timeless and simple. However, each person is unique, and sometimes a more personal gift will be more appreciated. Buy a gift for your friend that you know they love. Their favourite chocolates, a copy of their favourite movie, a voucher to get take-out from their favourite restaurant. Your friend may not be in the right emotional space to use these gifts right away, but a personal gift with a lot of thought will be appreciated and could be exactly what they need to feel ‘normal’ again.
Grief affects each of us in a unique way. At the end of the day, you know your friend best and know what they may need in this trying time. Of course, a greeting card and a bouquet of flowers might be exactly what they need. These suggestions are just some alternative ways to provide practical support for your grieving friend.