Jump to content

Things you can do for those grieving

Recommended Posts

I thought this might be a helpful thread to start since not everyone who reads this forum has lost someone close. Maybe those of us who are grieving a lost loved one could create a list of things we wished people would do or do more of to support us in our time of grieving. I know that I've spoken with a number of people who have said the same thing "I just don't know what to do or say". What are some of the things that people have done or said to you that made a difference or what things do you wish those people around you would do/have done for you?


I still have not driven since the accident almost 10 months ago--I'm currently trying to work through my fears/anxiety in hopes that I'll be driving again soon. I asked for rides somewhat frequently in the beginning when I had 4 or 5 doctors appts a week and even then I asked the same 3 people. A friend called me last week and told me that she was on her way to the biggest city in the area (30 mins away) to run some errands when she thought I might need to get down there to pick some things up. She was actually calling while parked in front of my house. This was the first time, maybe the second, in all the last 10 months anyone actually asked me that. I was so moved by her consideration/care that I told her I couldn't think of anything in particular but I'd love to go along for the ride/company. We ended up having a really nice time visiting and ended the trip by grabbing dinner (and of course I found some things I needed after all). Following are some more things that I think would 'help':


--Stop by unannounced (but not at odd hours) just to 'check up' and chat (I even went so far as to tell friends that if the light was on in my front entry I was up for visitors--didn't seem to work since no one ever really drops by).


--just call to chat or ask when I'd be up for getting together


--Call up and set a date to come by with a prepared lunch or dinner to share (it gets lonely cooking and eating alone when for years you shared that ritual with your best friend and love).


-- Call and ask if I need to make a trip to the grocery store (this one would work even for someone who may drive on their own). It would be nice to have some company on a grocery run every now and then since...again...I did that with my spouse and every time I see a bottle of chocolate milk, or a particular type of cookie, or a particular brand of pasta sauce I still come close to tears.


--Invite me to a movie, play, concert or outdoor activity (I know you're going to them and the fact you don't call and ask me to join you makes me feel that you've forgotten what I'm going through and you've forgotten me).


--Offer to help around the yard (even if you're helping by sitting in a lawn chair drinking an iced tea while I do the weeding). Again--something I always did knowing my spouse was just around the corner or behind the next bush.


--Suggest or drop off a book that made you feel good when you were down (two friends did this in the week after the accident--I read both books, but nothing since). It doesn't need to be a self-help...maybe it's a book you're not sure I'd even read.


--When you ask me if I need help with anything please try to be specific...I find it hard to ask for anything even though I clearly need help and have been numb for most of the last 10 months.


--"Do you need help/company running errands?"


--"Do you need me to make any phone calls for you?" (this is especially useful in the beginning, but could certainly still be applicable months later)


--"Do you need help rearranging the furniture?"


--"Do you need help mowing the lawn?"


--"Do you need someone to watch your pet when you go out of town or when you just need to be alone?"


--"Do you want to go to dinner out of town?" (being anonymous in a crowded restaurant is an incredible relief)


--"Do you want to take a road trip for a couple of days just to get away?"


--"When you have to go through or organize your late spouse's things, would you like me to be there or help?"


--"Do you need help deciding what color to paint your bedroom?"


--"Do you need help painting, or company while you paint?"


--"Do you need me to put something(s) away for you that maybe you're having a difficult time dealing with?"


--"Could I come over Thursday night to hang out/maybe break out the Scrabble game or watch a movie?" (suggest something specific because I sure don't know how to ask for it and half the time don't even know what to ask for or what I'd be up for until it's suggested)


--Call every now and then and just ask how I'm holding up/if I need someone to talk to


--Call just to say 'hi' and remind me that you haven't forgotten me or what I've lost


--Email me--it could be a funny joke, an odd/interesting news article, or just a 'touching base' email.


--Hug me (I was used to getting hugs all day long for 8 years and all of a sudden I don't get any).


--Ask to see photos or video of him--it's easier sometimes to keep them closed/put away when in order to really heal and appreciate him I should be looking at them more often.


--Encourage me to write in my journal more often


--Help me search for support mechanisms I may need (a therapist, a doctor, a minister, a support group, etc...).


Please add your own thoughts or experiences...what sorts of things do you need from the people around you RIGHT NOW? What things would have made your journey through grief more effective/more bearable?

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...