How to Care Well for Widowed Friends


How to Care Well for Widowed Friends
For many widows mealtime is the hardest part of the day. It's a challenge to shop and cook for one and often difficult to prepare the meal to eat alone.
After the initial surge of support, here are three ways you can help your widowed friends in the weeks and months after the loss of a loved one.

How to Care Well for Widowed Friends

1. Stock her freezer with individual meals
The various stages of grief can make it hard for others to plan healthy meals, grocery shop for ingredients and find the energy to cook for one.
One practical way to stock a friend's freezer is to pack a complete individual meal in a freezer-safe container with what you made your family for dinner. It does not have to be fancy --- think simple comfort foods that nourish. Deliver a variety of meals with encouraging notes.
This can be something you do on your own or as a team from your church, work or school, etc. Typically, one person is designated to deliver the freezer meals on a weekly schedule.
We even ship meals so your love can be hand-delivered. Our Six Pint Soup Package is designed especially for individuals.

How to Care Well for Widowed Friends

2. Set up a schedule for a shared meal
Offer to set up a meal schedule for your widowed friend with the purpose of providing a shared meal, community and conversation. We often hear from others that what is most missed is conversation around a table and simply talking about their day.
A meal schedule is typically used to drop a meal off at the recipient's home. However, some coordinators create a schedule and share in the notes section you are instead signing up to host the person in your home for a shared meal. If it is difficult for the recipient to leave home, you could also offer to bring a shared meal to their home.
A reoccurring shared meal (or even a coffee date, walk or phone call) helps to provide comfort and decrease loneliness and isolation.

How to Care Well for Widowed Friends

3. Continue to extend an invitation
Grief has many stages and each person experiences them differently. Don't take it personally if invitations are declined. Keep inviting your widowed friend to events and continue to let her know you are thinking about her. Don't avoid your friend. Be intentional and include her as you always did in the past.
Don't let awkwardness, being unsure what to say or busyness keep you from reaching out to a widowed friend, especially in the months following her loss. If needed, share you don't know what to say, that you deeply care and she is not alone. Just don't go silent.
We know many of you continue to provide meals for your grieving friends. You have provided comfort when it is needed most. Continue reaching out to those who are hurting. You might be just the encouragement they need!

Read other recent articles by Lindsey Shantz:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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