It can be hard knowing how to show support to someone who’s experienced a loss. You may worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. You may worry that your efforts don’t seem sincere or that you could be doing more.
If someone you know has lost someone they love, here are some ways you can genuinely show your love and support.
Lend a Helping Hand
Sometimes when someone you know is hurting you want to help, but you aren’t sure what to do so you end up saying something like, “I’m here. Let me know if you need anything.” While you’re being sincere in your offer, it can be hard for someone who’s grieving to actually reach out and tell you they need help. So rather than telling your bereaved friend to let you know when she needs something, offer specific ways you can help. Tell her you’d be happy to drop off and pick up her child from preschool this week. Or you can let her know you’re going to the grocery store this afternoon, and then ask what she needs from the store. You may have to offer your help several times so your friend knows you’re being genuine and are readily available to help out.
Sit and Listen
Everyone grieves differently. Some people want advice, while others in mourning need someone to listen to them. Listening may be more important than saying the right thing. Your listening could be an important part of their healing process. So be willing to listen for as long as they feel comfortable talking to you. When it feels appropriate, ask them questions to keep the conversation going, but also be willing to just sit in silence, maintain eye contact as they talk, and offer a reassuring hug.
Send a Gift
A thoughtful way to show your support to someone who just lost a loved one is by sending them a gift. You could drop off a home-cooked meal or their favorite dessert – sometimes people just need some good comfort food. You could also send a curated sympathy box. Remembrance gifts at laurelbox make it easy for you to find or design a personalized and meaningful gift to let someone know they are in your thoughts.
Offer Continued Support
Once the funeral is over and out-of-town family members have left, your love and support may be more valuable than ever. After your initial visit or sending a gift, stay in touch with them. Grieving has no timetable. Some people grieve for a couple of months, while others grieve for years. So every now and then, send them a text, give them a call, or drop by. It’s also a good idea to be mindful of certain days of the year, such as Christmas and birthdays, as holidays can often be hard for those grieving someone they’ve lost.
However you decide to show your love and support, remember that no effort goes unnoticed. If your attempts are sincere, your friend or family member will appreciate your efforts and feel your love and support.