5 Heartfelt Actions to Show Empathy During a Loss
Even if you’ve suffered a similar loss, no one can know exactly what someone else is going through. It’s difficult to know what to say and to do, and just throwing out the standard “I’m sorry for your loss” can feel trite, canned, and even thoughtless.
It’s okay to not know what to say and to even tell a grieving person just that. Tell them you care, but also be aware that during this time what you do is more important than what you say.
Their life has changed forever, and they may never feel as alone as they do right now. This is the time to show them that their pain may be overwhelming, but that they are not alone.
Give Them Your Time
This is especially important once everyone else has gone. If they had family come out for the funeral who have now gone home, go and see them. Ask them if they want to grab a bite to eat or go for a walk.
Give them a mini-vacation from their grief, if you can, or be a listening ear if they need to vent. It’s about what they need, not what makes you the most comfortable. Let them know you’re there for them.
If you live far away, ask if you can call them, orinvite them to come out for a visit, if possible.
Help with the Household
If they have kids, take them out for ice cream or for any shopping they need to do.Mop their floor or do the laundry. Bring over a favorite movie and fold clothes while you watch it together.
If you ask what you can do to help, they’ll most likely and automatically say they’re fine. Go over and see what they actually need and just do it.
Don’t, however, just jump in and clean out the deceased’s closet or anything like that. Those grieving have to decide when they’re ready for steps like that.
Send a Box of Remembrances
One great way to show love to a grieving soul is to build a laurelbox. Laurelbox is a company that caters to those who have lost someone. You can choose keepsakes and self-care items to create a gift box geared especially towards your loved one. It’s a wonderful way to show that you remember them and are aware of their pain.
Hire a Service
Maybe you can’t run over and clean their entire house or fix up their yard, as much as you would like to. So consider hiring a service for some one-time help. Let your friend know you’re doing this and let them pick the date.
Keep the Support Going
Immediately after the funeral, people may receive some support but this tends to go away long before they’re okay.
Text them now and then and let them know you’re thinking of them. Bring by some candy or some of their favorite foods.
On difficult days, such as the deceased’s birthday or during holidays, make a special effort to show some love.
We all know death is a normal part of life and that we all have to go through losing the people we love. That knowledge doesn’t make the process any easier. The best we can do is be there for each other and not make anyone have to endure loss all on their own.