Five Things About My Weekend
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When the Unthinkable Happens

Over the weekend, Carole and Dale lost a dear friend, which brought up today's subject for Ten on Tuesday, 10 Things You Can Do To Be Supportive When Someone Dies.

Cherylwillknow

Grieving is often hardest after friends and family have gone back to their lives and the bereaved is left alone. Maybe a week or two, even maybe a month after the funeral, your friend will face a quiet house and a ton of grief and it's likely they'll need you more after the dust has settled.

 1. Call and catch up on a regular basis. Listen to anything they have to say. Yes, this might require a phone call instead of just texting. 

2. Suggest something they might like to do, something as simple as going for a walk.  It's very likely the bereaved will be processing their grief for quite a long time.

3. If an event is coming up, like Halloween, take them a special treat and make sure they're not left to the ghosts and goblins alone. Decorate their front door, send them cute notes, and  cards in the mail.

4. Make sure they have some place to be on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some people have family, some don't.

5. Don't be afraid to ask them what it is they need, although, some people don't even know what they need. Let your friend know (by your actions) you're there for them. Every day, every month can hold a new landmark. Every holiday, every event will bring up new grief.

6.  By making other friends aware you may find willing compatriots to help lend a helping hand or listening ear. Create a circle of support, love, and listeners.

7. Listen to silence if that's all your friend has to offer. Just sit next to them and let them grieve quietly, but be there if they need you.

8. Share pictures with your friend that they may not have. Maybe you have enough to share that will make up an album or a little book. Share memories and stories as you sit together.

9. Don't forget your friend on the first, second, third anniversary. Time may have passed but the pain and loss will be strongly felt.

10. Celebrate with your friend (if they are up to it) the life of their loved one. Be kind, gentle, not needy of your own grief. Surround your friend with love.

 

Comments

#4 is so important. Great list you've got here Margene.

I love three, four, and nine - keeping people connected and part of things while at the same time acknowledging their pain.

Those first holidays after losing somebody are real tough. It's a good idea to keep them surrounded by love, especially if they don't have other family members close by.

I hadn't even thought of #4, but you are so right. What a lovely idea you've described - a circle of support, love, and listeners.

This is such a lovely and touching list of thoughtfulness.

A lovely thoughtful list, Margene. Just being there, being present is probably what most people need.

This list is just perfect. I'm trying to think of ways to be there for Tina.

A wonderfully thoughtful list.

And this is why you are such a great friend. Empathy flows through every word.

You are such a good human.

What a perfect and thoughtful list, Margene. XOXO

Thank you for sharing this list - and the reminder about the anniversaries. My friend just made it through the second anniversary of her husband's death and it wasn't any easier for her...and maybe even harder because not many of us remembered to check in. xo.

The advice to remember people over time really resonates. Right after the loss, everyone gathers around. The real friends are those who continue to be present and understand that mourning does not have deadlines.

thank you for posting this, I have a few family members in different stages of grief, its so hard to know what to say or do sometimes...

I love what you wrote. It gives me some ideas about helping friends through loss. Thank you.

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