** Guest Blog written by Michael Miller, Author of What’s Next **
Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be very stressful and traumatic. When a friend is going through a loss, we often want to help them out in any way possible. There are many helpful ways to talk to your friend and support them emotionally, but there are other ways to make an impact, too. Here are some tangible ways you can help a friend who is experiencing a loss.
1. Prepare a Meal
Preparing a home-cooked meal for a friend is a great way to show your support and love after a loss. The comfort of a meal can have a dramatic impact on your friend’s life – one they will remember long after the flowers and words of a eulogy are forgotten. Tip: make a batch meal (soup and pasta sauce are great options) and portion in individual servings, so your friend can heat up one serving at a time and freeze the rest for later.
2. Set up a Fundraiser
According to the NFDA, the average traditional funeral costs $7,181 and this doesn’t include other financial costs associated with the loss of a loved one. One way you can help your friend cover these costs is by hosting a fundraiser or setting up an online campaign. This will allow your friend to focus on other tasks they may need to tackle without the stress of financial burden.
3. Help with Everyday Tasks
Completing everyday tasks may become difficult for a friend after the loss of a loved one. Offer to pick up the kids from school, pet sit or grocery shop while your friend is grieving and focusing on other issues. This will ensure that everyday tasks are getting done and your friend has the time to take care of other pressing matters.
4. Share your Expertise
Your friend may require specific help after the loss of a loved one. If you know of a good lawyer or have website design skills, offer your services and any helpful contacts you may have. This will eliminate the time needed to research these experts and your friend will receive peace of mind from a personal referral.
5. Get them Moving
Exercising releases endorphins, which block pain signals and produce a euphoric feeling of happiness. Get your friend moving by signing up for a yoga class together or simply scheduling a walk around the park every week. Exercise will help your friend get out of the house, get fresh air and bring back some normalcy to their life.
6. Help Plan a Celebration of Life
Planning a celebration of life can be stressful and emotional and may raise tensions among family members. If appropriate, offer to help your friend plan this occasion by researching and calling venues, ordering flowers and handling other logistics. This will allow your friend to focus on other important aspects on the celebration. For more on how to plan a creative celebration of life, look here.
7. Offer Support all Year Long
After the immediate loss of a loved one, the condolences and flowers will fade, but your friend may still continue to grieve. Show them you still care by writing a simple inspirational note or sending them a card on holidays, or by sharing memories of the loved one that has passed. Ongoing support, once others have returned to their day-to-day, can be invaluable.
** Guest Blog written by Michael Miller, Author of What’s Next **invocare.com/grief-assistance