Page 26 - McAdams
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 HELPING A FRIEND COPE WITH
Many of us know the frustration of feeling an intense desire to help when a friend has suffered a loss and it seems there is very little we can do to ease their pain. While nothing we do is likely to stem their grief, there are often very practical things that may need attention. By stepping up to those tasks you may help diminish the stress and worry that can compound grief. Regardless of how you choose to show your care and concern, above all remember that simply being present and there to listen are usually the greatest help any of us can offer.
BEFORE THE FUNERAL
1. Offer to notify family and friends about funeral arrangements.
2. Help answer the phone and greet visitors to the family home.
3. Keep a record of everyone who calls, visits, or has been contacted.
4. Ensure the cupboard is stocked and help coordinate meals for the family.
5. Offer to pick up travelers at the airport and arrange housing.
6. Provide in-town transportation for out-of-town visitors.
7. Help keep the house clean, the laundry done and the dishes washed.
AFTER THE FUNERAL
1. Stay in touch. Occasional calls or notes offering encouragement and support will remind them you’re there for them.
2. Offer your help with the “Thank You” notes and other correspondence or tasks related to ‘winding up’ the funeral.
3. Allow them to grieve in their own way and at their own pace without judgement and gently remind them that their way is the ‘right way’.
4. In the weeks following the funeral, prepare or provide a weekly dinner, on a day that is mutually convenient.
5. Offer to help with yard and household chores like lawn mowing, grocery shopping and dog walking.
6. Offer to drive or accompany them on outings – including cemetery visits if they wish.
7. Offer to house sit so they can get away or visit family out of town.
8. Anticipate difficult days such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and the anniversary of the death and be sensitive to their needs at those times.
9. Make a point of mentioning the deceased by name and encourage reminiscing.
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