Following up on Good Intentions: How to Help After the Funeral
When someone you know loses a loved one, you may feel powerless to ease their pain. We all want to find some way to help, but knowing what's needed can be difficult. People in a time of bereavement have both practical and emotional needs, but with a bit of thought, you can find a way to be part of the healing process.
In the days surrounding the funeral, there's often a rush to help. People bring food, offer comfort and try to attend to the needs of the family. This is important, but after the funeral is over and most of the well-wishers have gone back to their own lives, the family of the person who has died is left alone with their grief.
Sometimes, it's just one person — a widow or widower — who must manage unfamiliar chores and try to adjust to a "new normal," which can be very difficult.
When you're trying to comfort a friend who has lost a loved one, think practically about ways you can make life easier. Sometimes, there are large tasks that need to be accomplished, such as sorting the house and deciding what to keep and what to give away.
Sometimes, children need care or errands must be run. It's often difficult for someone who is grieving to do everything while also trying to cope with their own sadness. By touching base with your friend, you can learn what's going on and what you can step up and handle.
On the other hand, the simplest things can often be the most helpful. Inviting your friend on a walk can help break up a sad day, and sending a card can make someone feel a little lighter.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is listen. Your friend might want to talk about the lost loved one, even just to share funny stories and fond memories. Offering a listening ear can be exactly what's needed. Strive to be in tune with your friend, and you will figure out how to be of service.
At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, we care about the families we serve. We've provided exceptional service, building a reputation of quality, sincerity and trust. We believe in the importance of memorializing a life well lived, and can help you find the perfect way to honor your loved one, send a gift or flowers to a bereaved family, or plan for your own end-of-life celebration. Call us at (510) 379-5200 or visit our website for more information.