What You Can Do For a Person Who is Bereaved

What You Can Do For a Person Who is Bereaved

What You Can Do For a Person Who is Bereaved

Pat Schwiebert, RN, Grief Watch

Immediate needs

Send a card with a list of concrete things that you are able to help with

  • Invitations to coffee, dinner, a walk, a visit or whatever
  • Cards and letters with pictures or memories of their loved one
  • Advice to accept any and all offers of help
  • Information about and attending a grief Support Group (including times, place)
  • A place for relatives to stay
  • Transportation to/from the airport for relatives
  • Assistance in planning and organizing the funeral/memorial service
  • Non-perishable food items
  • List making and record keeping so thank you notes can be sent
  • Phone card
  • Your physical presence
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery store, etc.. It is difficult to drive in the first couple of days and weeks
  • Assistance with errands, shopping, housecleaning, etc.
  • Childcare so they can rest without having to worry about the needs and safety of their surviving child or children
  • Addressing and stamping envelopes for thank you notes
  • Money (death and grief can be very expensive)

Needs down the road

  • Continue to call and acknowledge the loss in the conversation
  • Continue to send notes (preferably in the mail)
  • Mention by name the one who died
  • Remember holidays and birthdays, death days
  • Sit with them at church
  • Go walking with them or join an exercise group together
  • Invite them out for lunch or dinner…or take dinner to them and eat at their home


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