The average person does not attend funeral services regularly. If you don’t know what to do or say when meeting someone grieving, you are not alone.
Never underestimate how much it means for you to simply be present to those experiencing a loss. You being there sends a message of support during their time of need. Similarly, if you cannot attend, a sympathy card, a telephone call, or text lets these persons know you care.
How can I continue to show support?
Do not forget that the person’s loss does not end with the service. While grief affects persons differently and everyone deals with their loss uniquely, their lives have still been profoundly changed.
Remember the important days throughout the years – the birthdays, the anniversaries, and events. The grieving person is remembering it and most likely alone. Reaching out through a phone call or email is important after the passing of a loved one.
With the loss of a child, keep talking about the child with their name, even years down the road.
Offer to do something specific. Don’t ask, “Can I do anything?” The grieving person doesn’t know what they need. Instead, say, “I will bring over a hot dish for you to have. You can freeze it or eat it.” Or, you can say, “I will be over tomorrow to mow your lawn. I notice it needs to be cut.” Don’t be afraid to take charge and say, “I am doing it, do you mind? And I won’t hear ‘no’ unless someone else is doing it!”
Remember, the important thing is to be present in these times of grief for others. Sometimes just being there is the best help.