Grief and Mourning…What You Can Do To Help

by Roni
grief and mourning
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Let me know if you need anything.”
This is something people often say when tragedy strikes, with grief and mourning sure to follow. Friends and family often do their best to come to the rescue of the ones who are dealing with the unexpected loss.
But what does saying ‘let me know if you need anything’ that really mean? Do you expect someone who is deep in the depths of this new reality that they don’t want, to stop and say, “Oh ok. I need some toilet paper, and could use some trash bags. Thanks.”
Instead of saying this rather benign phrase that doesn’t help anyone, be proactive.

Grief and mourning…things you can do to help

1. Do you know what they like to eat? They may not be hungry but setting up a food delivery service for a week or two or a month after things calm down would be helpful.
2. Do they enjoy music? Get them a gift card to download music. Music can be healing to the tortured soul.
3. Do they have a housekeeper? If not, why not offer to have someone come over and clean? Give the gift to someone close to them if they aren’t in the position to do anything at the moment. That person can then make sure the gift is used when it’s needed.
4. Do they have kids? Buy the kids some toys that won’t make tons of noise. Pre-Covid I would say go pick them up and take them somewhere but Covid makes that tricky. Here are a couple of things that are good for kids and won’t bother their parents. 
This is a fun game that can keep kids entertained for a while.
This set below is so much fun! Most kids love playing ball and these make it easy to catch and throw.
5. If you are close enough to them, go take the trash out, rake their leaves, clean their gutters. Go wash their car, or hire someone to do it.
6. Send them a gift card to their favorite store. Online shopping can be done from home and can temporarily distract someone from the unbelievable pain they are in.
grief and mourning
7. Write a card, and I don’t mean one of those horrible pre-written sympathy cards. Actually take pen to paper and write to them in a blank card. Tell them how you feel about them and how sorry you are. Drop it off at the front door or mail it. It’s so much better than sending a text. I created blank greeting cards, check them out here. 
8. Go to the store and buy essentials. EVERYONE needs water, toilet paper, trash bags, cleaning supplies, disinfectant wipes, etc. If they like juice, beer, wine, alcohol, those are easy things to drop by. Leave them at the door. 
9. Do they need money? Add some cash to a card. I created tip envelopes, you may find something you like. 
10. If you have access to their home, look around and see what needs to be done. Wash clothes, clean something. Arrange something. DO SOMETHING. While you’re doing these tasks, take note of the type of products they use and then buy some more.
Everyone needs laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid. If they don’t have to think about these types of things, it can help because every little bit of help possible is needed while dealing with grief and mourning. 

Grief Coping Skills

Remember, everyone grieves differently. Acknowledging the grief coping skills of those you love will help you cater to their needs. Do they love watching particular types of movies or TV shows? Do they love to workout? Would they enjoy a ride to the beach to listen (and possibly get in) the ocean?

If you know someone, it’s important that you do the things that matter to them, not the things that you want them to do. Be the person in their life that isn’t asking anything of them, nor demanding that they use grief coping skills that make YOU comfortable.

Recently a friend of mine came over after hearing my cousin committed suicide. Everyone who knows me knows that I love massages, but I didn’t feel like one at the time. He INSISTED on rubbing my feet, which I didn’t want.

There was no rhyme or reason to my logic, I just didn’t feel like having my feet rubbed. Do not pressure someone into doing anything. A good friend will never insist and will do what you want and not what they want to do.

grief and mourning

 10 ways to help someone dealing with grief and mourning 

  1. set up a food delivery service
  2. gift them music
  3. hire a housekeeper
  4. buy toys for the kids that don’t make noise
  5. help out around the house
  6. buy them a gift card to their favorite store(s)
  7. send them a thoughtful card
  8. buy essential household items
  9. give them money
  10. do tasks around the home
These are just off the top of my head. And don’t just show your concern in the days after. Months go by but people seem to forget and the family is now left alone to deal with things, so keep checking on them.
But please, don’t expect someone to reach out to you, because mourning is a beast. It catches your breath and will only allow you to breathe shallow breaths until the tears roll down your face uncontrollably.
It has no time limit, it doesn’t care what you were doing or wanted to do. Grief will hit you when it feels like it and when this happens, no one wants to think about the things they need, because the things they really need is for their loved one to not be dead.
What do you do to help your friends and family when they are mourning?

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