I remember 2 years ago if someone died I wouldn’t know what to say to their loved ones. Do I give them an awkward hug? They probably are so flooded with messages they won’t even notice mine. Maybe I’m bothering them. Do I send them something? How do I get their mailing address? What the heck do I even say?
You can be completely confused. I GET IT! I’ve now been on both sides.
Since James died, other people have died around me and guess what, I’ve gone back to being awkward!! How stupid is that? It’s because humans just don’t naturally know what to say. It’s hard to put yourself in that person’s shoes. This past year though I’ve tried to make an effort to reach out to anyone that has had a loved one die.
When James passed away I was flooded with messages, emails, some yummy baked goods, you name it, it was probably there. The thing was, at the time I really didn’t notice. Maybe I thought, oh yum this is good. Or maybe I thought, wow that was a really nice thing to share and didn’t reply. Guess what though, over time I’ve gone back to each and every message and read them all. I still have not replied and don’t intend to. But I sure appreciate the people that reached out even if it was a 2 sentence “I’m sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you are going through and you are in my prayers.” Hey, check out how easy that was. Do you know what I hated…”Please let me know if I can help.” I’m not sure why it annoyed me. But it did.
Anyone who has lost a loved one understands it’s hard to know what to say. So I have come up with a list of 10 ways to help a loved one grieve. They range from small to larger things, but I hope that if it helps some of you out there.
Share a memory: I love this. I really really love this. I don’t care if it’s something I knew about or something that is a new story to me, it’s like a small gift. It shows they have not forgot about that person. It shows they are thinking about them when, of course you are too.
Offer assistance: Now I do not have children, but I can’t imagine if I did how much a helping hand would be appreciated. I say that not only to people with children, but people going through grief in general. It’s exhausting! They probably are not eating or sleeping, so they do not have a lot of energy. Offer to cook or clean or even check the mail. Maybe even say are you sure? I would love to help. Ask again a few days later and I bet they will take you up on it.
Give them a gift: Now I’ve already talked about baked goods. But anything that would be comforting is a great idea. Maybe a few dinners that can be easily heated up. Maybe a stress relief ball. Maybe even a nice gesture like a picture frame with a picture of your friendship. There are a million little things you can add in a small box.
Quotes: You know I love quotes. At least you should know this about me if you have been following me on Instagram for longer than a few days. Write down your favorite quotes for them. Quotes about hope, about life about love. This may just help to lift their spirits a bit. If you or they are religious you can highlight a few of your favorite Bible versus, especially a few about heaven which will add a special touch.
A card: Aren’t cards great? Some just have the words already picked out for you. All you have to do is sign your name. Guess what, that’s okay and it’s a lovely gesture. Just sign the card and put it in the mail.
Set reminders: This may seem odd, but set reminders on your phone. 1 month anniversary, 2 month, 3 month, 6 month, etc. Guess what, that person that lost their loved one may be counting the exact days they have been without them. They definitely remember these anniversaries. No one may reach out. Since James passed away on New Years everyone remembers mine, but after the 2 month mark, most people stopped messaging me each month anniversary. Send them a quick message letting them know you are thinking of them.
Send a message: I shared earlier how I liked getting messages but I didn’t reply to them always. A simple social media message or text message goes a long way. It doesn’t need to be anything long (although it can be), but let them know you are thinking of them.
If you have another way you loved being helped during your time of grief, I would love for you to comment it below.
Thanks for reading! ❤