It can be very difficult to know how to be supportive when someone has died.
Sadly this is something I have a lot of experience with. I lost both my parents when I was pretty young and I had some tremendous support.
I also had friends who seemingly had no idea what to do or say so opted to do nothing and I can tell you now that can make you feel pretty isolated and uncared for.
But let us not focus on that – let’s focus instead on what did help and what I think makes a real difference.
I had friends who would call me and listen for hours, I sometimes needed to talk and talk and talk, sharing my memories and my feelings. Other times I would not want to talk at all and just was grateful for them calling and leaving messages. It just made me ‘not alone’ I suppose. Keeping in contact after a loss is really important. grief does not end with a funeral and sometimes the after the funeral bit is where the loss really does kick in most and where that support is most wanted.
Another thing that helped me tremendously were the lovely sympathy cards I was sent I was sent. I would read them over again and again and the sweet loving words people had written were a really balm to my soul. I always send a sympathy card now when someone has died knowing it may well bring comfort later down the line and remind that person that I care about them and have offered my support to them.
Hugs. Hugs helped hugely and could often convey someone wanted to support me when they just didn’t quite know what to say.
We are not helpless when it comes to loss, with contact cards and hugs we can reach out. We can offer practical help too, cooking a meal or doing errands. It is all about an expression of care that reminds someone they are not alone.