Sometimes It’s What You Do Not What You Say

Sometimes it’s not just about what you say when someone is grieving but more importantly what you do. Just the smallest of gestures are helpful.

Grievers may not feel like talking on the phone after a loved one dies.

However, receiving a simple text message from someone interested in how they are doing can make a griever’s day.

What You Can Do

Here is what you can do to help someone who is grieving:

Just Listen. This by far is the best gift you can give. It’s important a griever feels they are being heard. Encourage them to talk about their loved one. Listen attentively to their stories. Knowing they are being heard helps them to heal.

Reach Out. Grievers get a lot of attention after losing a loved one, but they tend to get forgotten after a few weeks. Call or invite them to coffee to see how they are doing. Send them a quick text message. Reaching out helps them not to feel so alone.

Send a Card or Letter with Your Memories of Their Loved One. Sharing your own personal memories in a card or letter will remind them how their loved one also mattered to you. Too many times people won’t even speak about someone who has died. Sharing your own memories will help a griever know it is okay to talk about and remember their loved one.

Send a Grief Care Package. There are some beautiful grief-specific care packages you can send. Some companies even offer a subscription service where you can send gifts over a period of months.  Here is a list of wonderful services (I am not a paid affiliate):

The Compassionate Courier

The Comfort Company        

Laurel Box                              

Gift Basket Village                

Gift Tree                                 

Sympathy Solutions            

Send or Bring a Meal. One of the last things a griever may want to do is cook. There are many companies that will send fully prepared meals to their homes. See Resources on page 179 for a list of companies. Here is a list of wonderful services (I am not a paid affiliate):

Sympathy Food                  


Family Chef                        

Impromptu Gourmet       

Make a Donation. Honor someone’s loved one by donating to their favorite charity or an organization who helped them get through a tough illness or difficult period.

Most importantly….

Be Patient. Grief is not on a timeline. Be patient with someone who is grieving. Understand they are on their own grief journey. Don’t push them to “be finished.” Understand it could take “as long as it takes.”


Excerpt from Grief Reiki – An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss, Chapter 1, Grief & Loss.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!