Today’s world is a spread out one as it is far more common that we will live in a separate city as our children, family and friends. Phone calls, occasional visits and social media make it easier for us to stay connected to our community of people but what happens when someone experiences a death in their family and we want a more meaningful connection? With the absence of your physical presence, what tangible things can you do to ensure that you are being supportive to those you care about?
For starters, it is really important to know that you can absolutely be there for someone you care about when they are going through a difficult time, even in the absence of your physical presence.
- Relinquish the feeling of being paralyzed by your physical distance and shift your focus to the positive. Spend time thinking about what you can do and what is possible in this situation, rather than what is not possible.
- When someone has passed away, send the family a meal. Find a local restaurant that delivers and send them a meal. You can use Caring Organizer's Local Directory to find places to order from. Or, send a meal to the family a couple of weeks after the funeral. That can be just as meaningful for a grieving family.
- Send a donation in memory of the person who passed away. Look up the obituary either on the funeral home website or local newspaper online. If you don’t have that information and don’t want to ask the grieving person, simply Google search the name of the person who passed away, their city and typically the search will serve up those details.
- Send a condolence message. Email, text or private messaging through social media are immediate ways to communicate. But follow up with a physical letter that is more meaningful and creates a personal connection. Let them know you are thinking of them and share a memory you have.
Always remember that showing your support will mean so much to the recipient, especially when it’s coming from someone unexpected and the extra effort you have put in from living afar. It’s just that little bit extra special.