I am not a self proclaimed expert about many things in life, but becoming a widow at the age of 31 did leave me feeling like maybe I do have some good, encouraging, and helpful advice to share. It’s not a fun topic, but it’s reality. I was recently asked by a couple of friends about what they can do for a friend who lost their spouse. It’s a question without a perfect answer. I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers, but I can at least share some ideas that helped me. I’d like to give you 3 quick tips that may help to comfort your friend.
- JUST BE THERE: Don’t worry about overstepping, etiquette is out the window when loss is in the room. Nothing else needs to be said except for “I’m here for you.”, “What can I do?”, and listen to their needs and concerns. Say that as many times as possible. This will make them feel less alone in the moment. The more they hear that the better. They need reassurance more than anything right now. You aren’t bothering them or interrupting. Their life has already been interrupted in the worst way possible. If they have kids, offer to help with things like bath time and bed time. Many families with young children have a routine in the evenings and it’s really hard to keep that going when a parent is now gone.
- GIFTS: Think essentials. Fresh milk and bread. It’s not really practical to bring a cheese tray and enough lunch meat to fee 50 people that will have to be tossed in a few days. My favorite is toilet paper, paper towels, and paper plates. They are going to have people in and out of the house for a while. The last thing they need to worry about is running to the store for toilet paper. Grab the some of the nicer tissues with lotion too. Consider setting up lawn care, house cleaning, babysitting or any job or chore that their spouse maybe was in charge of.
- PERSONAL ESSENTIALS: Offer to run any errands, grab medicine or get specifics from the store. While you are there, pick up some Benedryl. Sleep is going to be difficult to achieve without help. Also, a refillable water bottle is helpful in order to be sure they are drinking. Ready to drink meal replacement shakes can be a quick way to get calories. Their taste buds are going to be malfunctioning for a while and their appetite may be non existent.
These are just 3 quick tips that may help you to comfort your friend. We offer a Sympathy Gift Package that contains all of the items that were given to me, along with guidance that helped me get through the rough days ahead. To purchase this package and to see our other options, click here https://www.comfortingkeepsakes.com.
Sarah Deatherage Steele
I am a Mom of 3, re-married widow, dental hygienist, fresh food snob, grief supporter for widows, and the creator of Comforting Keepsakes Sympathy Gifts. My husband, AJ and I hand make and finish every detail of our Memory Boxes, in our garage! I love my family and friends, second chances, exploring new places, and of course food!
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