www.marissa.co How to console

How to console What to Make and Take to Friends that are Grieving

I know this may not be a natural platform for consoling people. However, at this time, more so than any, we are all faced with passings. Some timely, others leave you cold with the age and heartbreak that they bring.

Personally, being there for people may not be possible, be it due to physical distance or other restrictions. There are, however, ways you can show kindness to a grieving family.

These are my ideas for making someone feel supported when they are going through a difficult time:

Send a card in the post (if your country still has a reliable service). A handwritten note that people can open and read with kind words and can console. I think that it is the act that clears the mind, both hands are engaged, they are in the moment reading that the person was loved and will be missed. Retell a story that will bring a smile to their face.

I choose cards with a tranquil scene rather than bespoke condolence cards. The scene can be up on a shelf for a little longer than a sympathy card. This can provide a visual escape for the person.

Send a text message, often people say ‘I don’t know what to say”. A short text that says: ‘Thinking of you, let me know if I can help in any way’ is sufficient. It is to the point and provides a connection that the person can use if they wish.

If they live close by and are welcoming visitors, pop in and offer to do any chores that they won’t feel up to. Making a meal, taking the dog for a walk, the little things that people overlook. A friend years ago said the most impactful act of kindness when she was going through cancer was a friend came in once a week and pushed her hoover around and ironed for her. She had breast cancer and both those tasks were painful for her. You could start a meal train for them, so they are fed as when they are grieving it is difficult and sometimes dangerous to cook. Their minds may wander involuntarily.

A lovely cake, if they are sweet-toothed, a meal that can easily be heated up, like a stew, curry, tagine, lasagne or whatever their favourite is. If you live far, arrange a takeaway delivery, let them know what day it is coming. If they have children, this creates excitement and can provide a little joy in a sea of sadness.

A little care package with bread, milk and some toppings to throw a sandwich together, is always handy. Care packages like this can be used and enjoyed at their convenience.

Hot drinks are a great consoler and a biscuit always goes down well too. Make a batch or buy their favourites and drop them off with a tub of hot chocolate or a box of their favourite tea.

A big bowl of salad or a fruit salad is often overlooked, at this time the bodies need to be topped up with micronutrients in tragic times. A salad, fresh fruit or a bowl of nuts works well as an edible gift.

Take the time to be there for anyone that is hurting, time is a gift that will be appreciated, above all else and that they will never forget.

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