When a loved one has died a lot of planning has to be done with regards to the funeral arrangements and a host of other minute details. The grief stricken individual is at times still in a state of shock.
In what ways can you help the grief stricken family?
You should not make the mistake of thinking that you can ask the grieving family as to exactly what you can do for them. The family is in such a shock and grief at that time that they may not know the answer right away. As a person if you have known the deceased for a long time you can help the grief stricken family without having to ask.
If you are invited by the deceased member’s family for a reception, you can offer to help out at the kitchen or help to throw away the litter or make some refreshments for the invitees. Previously, everyone would mix around with the loved one whether they require d it or not. And just did things for them. This can be in the form of bringing food over that you have cooked yourself so that they don't have to cook. You should bring in food that is easy to eat because at this time, they will not feel like eating at all. You can also offer to pick up the kids from school. You can also offer to take the kids out for an outing or simply offer to do some errands for them.
Alternatively, you can buy a sympathy card and make a gesture by putting in a check for them. This would help them to tide over the costs of hosting the reception. You can give just that much which you can afford. It should be remembered that grief takes time to heal so you can make an attempt to make this healing process a little easier. You can also offer a listening ear as at this point of time the grief stricken family would like someone to talk. However, most friends keep away from the bereaved in order to give them some time. However, the grief stricken doesn’t need space all the time. Loneliness at times can result in depression. The least you can do is to invite them over to dinner, if they seem to be lonely or sad. If they do not respond to you in a positive way then you should give them some more time.
Grief can last a lifetime and it is not possible to wither away quickly. It gets easier to live without the loved one with the passage of time. So try and be a good friend and stick as close to them as possible. It is you who will be able to help them in the healing process. This is the time that your grieving friend needs you the most. Don't desert them at this hour.