How Can I Help A Bereaved Person
How can I help a bereaved person.
Like many of us, we find it difficult to know/find the words to say or ways in which we can help once we find out that someone we know has been bereaved.
Depending on the relationship we have with the bereaved person and whether we knew the person who died, there are many things that we can do to make a difference, even in smallest ways.
One of the most important things is not to pretend it hasn’t happened or to make distance with the bereaved person completely. To say that we are sorry to hear the loss, of the person that has died acknowledges the importance of this event, whether we have the opportunity to say this in person or by sending a card or letter.
If we are in a position to offer practical help, there are a number of possibilities such as shopping to make sure there is always enough tea, coffee, milk and sugar for the increased number visitors that will come to the home. Cooking dishes that can go in a freezer or bringing food around on a tray at this when people often have a diminished appetite and reduced energy for food preparation can be a great help.
Preparing and making time to sit with a bereaved person in silence while they cry if they feel to is a real gif, also to be able to listen to reminiscences and share memories sometimes over and over again. Telling the story of what has happened, especially in the last days and hours of someone’s life is an important part of beginning to accept that the person really has died.
In the early days after a death there is a always a lot to do. Offering lifts to the registrar, the funeral director, the cemetery or the bank can be a great help.
Helping with them with the housework or helping them make sure they have suitable clothing to wear for the funeral (taking it to the dry cleaners if necessary) may seem small and insignificant to us but will be remembered with great gratitude.
Our offers of help are more likely to be accepted If we can suggest help with practical things, our offer will be more likely to be accepted. A practical offer at this time is more help than ‘let me know if there is anything I can do’, which may be too vague for the bereaved person to be sure if the offer is genuine offer or not. Sometimes having an idea how you may be able to help shows that you are being genuine and allows the space for the bereaved person to ask you to help later, if the right moment is not at the time you offered.
It is also important to remember that if someone says ‘no thank you’ you do not take offence. It may be that there we prior arrangements have been made with other people, who we are unaware of. Meaning that we are genuinely not needed or it may just not be the right moment. Reassuring someone that your offer of help stands if things change is important.