Food is a natural go-to to bring to someone who is grieving or is ill themselves or has a family member who is, but there are other gestures that make a big difference. Part of it is being proactive by anticipating their needs, from the smallest to the largest, and thinking of something that you can do to support them and make something easier while they are grieving.
Here are some examples of things you can do:
- Send a hand-written sympathy note. In it share a memory you have of the person who passed, or if you didn’t know them personally, then simply let them know you are thinking of them.
- Cooking will be the last thing on their mind. Give them a gift card to a local restaurant.
- A gift card for a massage or pedicure. Taking a moment for themselves will be hard at first. But as time goes by, and the initial influx of visitors start to lessen, they will find comfort in something that helps them relax. Help them along with a gift card to a spa.
- Be creative and make your own vouchers for household chores that they can remit at any time. For example, taking out their garbage or recycling.
- Hire a cleaning service to come to their home after the first week of mourning when they’ve had many people at their home and/or a couple of times after as well.
- Set up a neighborhood schedule to shovel the driveway or mow the lawn.
- Offer to help with minor household repairs. Or hire someone else’s services to help.
- If reading or music is something they enjoy, pick out a selection of books to send to them or send them an iTunes or Amazon gift card.
- Think of the little things that the person typically indulgences in (chocolate, baths, crossword puzzles) and send them a little something to let them know you are thinking of them.