How to Help
Do write cards or letters that the bereaved can turn to during lonely times.
Do invite conversation, let him/her feel free to talk or express feelings without embarrassment. Let him/her tell and re-tell what has happened.
Do listen. You don't need to try to "fix" the situation, just let him/her express his/her feelings at the moment.
Do visit and call often. Respect the need for the person to be alone at times. Strive for a balance between companionship and privacy.
Do plan activities--invite and offer transportation. Don't be disappointed if he/she declines your invitation.
Do offer a helping hand with child care, pet care, house-sitting, or yard work. Do offer help with housecleaning-or if you see a need, start in.
Don't judge. Believe in his/her ability to get through grief in his/her own way and his/her own time.
Do offer your skills to assist with organizational & clerical support such as writing notification letters, helping with the finances, or helping with the thank you notes.
Do touch - hold hands, give hugs.
Do share memories. Don't avoid conversation about the one who has died.
Do prepare meals or offer an invitation to dine out.
Do ask "What can I do?" Be sincere about what you are willing to do. Know your limits. Only make offers if you can follow-through with them.
Do support his/her emotional show of feelings--anger, guilt, sadness, fear.
Do offer to stay over or invite them to stay with you.
Do make available personal resources i.e. a weekend stay at a beach cabin, hot tub, use of DVD, etc.