Following Up After a Funeral
My mom recently had a close friend lose her sister, mother and father on the same day. Being several states away, she wasn't able to physically be present to offer help. Instead my mom came up with one simple act of kindness to bless her friend that she could do from a distance. My mom sent a card each week for several months to help her during the grieving process. What a wonderful way to reach out to offer a little bit of comfort during an extremely difficult time.
Taking a meal is always a wonderful way to bless a family or individual who is grieving the loss of a loved one. There are many other ways you can offer to help that are not food related. Many of these ways would be especially helpful for following up when the frenzy of preparing and planning of the funeral has ended.
Offer your company and support for the days after the funeral. Perhaps setting up a schedule for visitations or "thinking of you mail" would give your friend something to anticipate. Having visitors or mail spaced out will remind them for a longer time that others are still thinking of them. You may want to ask for the best time to have visits, but mail can be more of a surprise. One Take Them A Meal user shared:
Don't forget grieving families two to three months following the death when other family and friends tend to go back to their lives and the grieving person is left putting the pieces of life back together by themselves. Receiving a meal or a loaf of bread is such a welcome treat then. A newly grieving person may not have the energy to cook for themselves and the post funeral meals that were stuck in the freezer might be gone now. I found this to be true for myself and several of my friends that have also experienced the death of a spouse. If it's a recently widowed husband, check to see how "meal preparation challenged " they are as meals might be needed longer than just at funeral time. ~ Jan
Consequently, if the family is hosting visitors they may need help accommodating the extra traffic in their house. Here are a few non-food items that may be helpful as well as beverages you could bring:
- Toilet paper
- Trash bags
- Food storage bags for freezing leftovers
- Cleansing wipes
- Sanitizing spray
- Hand soap
- Water, juices, a carbonated beverage, coffee, tea and disposable cups
- "Thank You" or blank stationary cards (and stamps!) for when they are ready to reach out again
One last idea is for someone to write down who brought what foods/items, so those details have already been documented and the recipient doesn't need to worry about remembering. Some people treasure the process of writing thank you notes after a funeral. For others, this is totally overwhelming. As the giver, it's important to know that everyone responds differently and even sending a text can be difficult for some despite their gratefulness.
If you or a loved one are walking through the days after a funeral, we hope this offers some simple encouragement on specific ways you can ask for help. If you are reaching out to someone who has recently lost someone close to them, we hope this helps you to know where to start.
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