There are a couple of questions that I get asked quite a bit. One being:
What can I do for people who are grieving?
It’s a great question without an easy answer. Every grieving person is different. In fact, every grieving family member mourns differently.
But I think it boils down to two main things: show up with love and be patient.
Showing up will look different depending on the person grieving and the relationship you have with them.
Are you a Facebook friend or a best friend? Show up according to your familiarity with that person.
Show up with a dinner. That’s wonderful because food is the last thing a grieving person wants to think about.
Show up and sit on their couch with them. Listen. Express love. Let them tell stories of the deceased. Tell them stories of the deceased.
Show up with cards.
Show up with emails.
Show up at the funeral.
Show up with flowers.
Show up with treats.
Show up with hugs.
Show up well after the death. Your life moved on. Theirs didn’t. Show them their loved one isn’t forgotten.
When you show up, show up with patience and understanding.
Those of us grieving are messed up.
Our emotions are at the surface. There’s a really great chance we’re going to cry. If you can ride out that emotion with us, we’re grateful we had an opportunity to talk about our loved one. To connect with another in our mourning.
Be patient with planning. Each day brings difficulties with it. Be understanding if your grieving friend is late or has to cancel. If your grieving friend has a spouse or kids, he/she is trying to juggle other people’s grief and needs as well.
Be patient with responses. Especially right after the death, my phone exploded with messages and notes of love. I read each one, they were beautiful and I was grateful. But I didn’t have the energy to respond. Be understanding of their emotional and physical limitations.
My best advice:
Show up with zero expectations, bringing in all the love.