WHAT MAKES A GRIEVING PERSON’S DAY

  • Receiving the sustenance of a good meal three times a week for up to six months.
  • Someone willing to stay present without encouraging them to move past the present by saying things will get better at some “later” or at some “future” time.
  • Someone offering to handle the mammoth paperwork of death certificates, insurance claims, changing names on accounts.
  • Someone willing to go the funeral home and mortuary visits.
  • Access to a financial planner to help plan for future and an estate attorney to help navigate legal matters.
  • Someone who offers to help organize and sort through rooms or houses.
  • Receiving the gift of someone willing to sit with them through searing pain and simply listen.
  • Permission to have their feelings.
  • Someone willing to stay present without encouraging them to move past the present by saying things will get better at some “later” or at some “future” time.
  • Someone offering to handle the tasks of “normal” work while they navigate very real work for grieving. An offer to pick up the mail, shovel snow, refill prescription, get the tires rotated, or walk the dogs are all tangible ways to lessen the burden during a difficult time.
  • Someone anticipating a need and filling it. For example, someone texting or calling to say “I’ll stop by your house on my way from work to water the garden or walk the dogs” instead of waiting for the grieving person to say what is needed.
  • Someone to help think through how to mark special days like the birthday, anniversary of the deceased. The “death-anniversary” is a big deal. Having a friend to make a plan for how to pass the day is very meaningful.
  • A friend who offers to help plan for the holidays or for a child’s birthday party.
  • The gift of sessions with a licensed grief counselor to help navigate their life after loss.
  • A friend offering to treat you to lunch or be an exercise buddy when the time is right.
  • Someone willing to run interference for the newly grieving. The influx of people can be intensely overwhelming and a gatekeeper can do wonders.
  • A phone message or text in the weeks and months (even year) after the passing of a loved one to say someone is thinking of them or their beloved.
  • Receiving a plant or flower months down the line to brighten the day and acknowledge you know they may be having a hard time.
  • Any act of love or consideration that says someone is willing to show up, do something and stand alongside the hole that has opened up in their lives without looking away or pretending their lives are not forever changed.
  • Being available is an act of love.