After the first few weeks of loss, we are so depleted that it may feel impossible to ask for help, or even know what help to ask for.   Friends want to help, but they often are not sure either on what to do.  Below is a short list of ways to take charge of your grief and ask for help.  Consider copying or e-mailing this list to friends.

  • Please reach out to me with specific offers of help.  Don’t expect me to reach out to you.  I am overwhelmed, and the simple act of picking up the phone can be too much.  Simply, help me with responsibilities.  Offer to help with errands, the kids, the laundry, meal preparation and the everyday things that I may not be able to complete.
  • Please share a meal with me.  Eating alone or without my loved one is difficult.  Please bring a meal over on invite me to go out to eat.
  • Please don’t minimize my feelings or try to eliminate the pain.
  • Please remember me on special dates, such as the one-month anniversary of loss, my loved one’s birthday, the holidays, and other milestones.
  • Please say the name of my loved one.  It doesn’t upset me.  In fact, I like to hear my loved one name.
  • Please don’t judge how I am grieving.  Support my decisions and how I choose to grieve.
  • Please help me through the entire journey of grief.  I need your friendship and support during this dark time.

If you are not comfortable sharing the list of suggestions yourself, perhaps have a close friend or family member serve as a guide in letting others how to best help you.