“It’s the support that continues on, day after day, month after month, year after year, that really makes a difference for someone coping with loss…the cards, calls and hugs that keep coming that mean more than anything.” –Skyler H.
- It’s wonderful to send a sympathy card or other message of condolences after someone you care about loses someone they love, but grief is enduring. Checking in over time—months, even years later—brings much-needed comfort and even happy memories.
“After my husband died, when I’d ask my daughter if my 8-year-old grandson could come hang out with me, she’d always say yes. We had a cabin in TN that needed lots of work, so I’d make frequent trips to work on it. It was my ‘healing place’ of sorts.” –Rinda H.
- Activities that a person enjoys or that help them focus on other things besides their loss can be a particularly welcome diversion, and having someone they care about join them is often all the better. Whether that’s a family member or a friend, the human connection is important.
“One friend started bringing me some dinners, knowing what a relief a night off from cooking was. Another friend texted me to ‘Please put a cooler on your porch next week. We will be supplying dinner every night.’” –Mo S.
- When someone’s grieving, a lot of practical things can help. Specific needs will vary, but things like meal trains, babysitting younger children for a time or helping to clean their house make a big difference and are a concrete way to show you care.
“The death of a pet is also devastating and should never be disregarded. I felt like people were less likely to listen to my feelings because it didn’t involve a human, but I was hurting so deeply inside for months.” –Sunny H.
- Remember that each person’s loss is very personal and therefore no less meaningful. Never minimize someone’s grief, and try to read the signs to know how they’re feeling and respond with empathy.