If you know someone who is grieving, a random act of kindness might just offer a glimmer of light in a dark moment, or help to prop them up during a difficult time. A small gesture could mean the world.
Sometimes the fear of saying the wrong thing or stirring up painful memories can prevent people from doing anything at all. Don’t worry about saying exactly the right thing – most people find comfort in knowing they’re in someone’s thoughts. You can’t ‘fix’ the situation but you can offer your support, show you care and remind a loved one that the person they’ve lost hasn’t been forgotten.
Here are a few ways to show kindness to someone who’s grieving:
1) Check-in, even if it’s been a while
Soon after losing someone, there tends to be a flurry of support from friends and family members. Later down the line, as people start to get on with their own life, it can feel like that support network has gone. Grief is a long and bumpy road; it’s never too late to let someone know they’re in your thoughts. They might need you now more than ever.
2) Send a ‘thinking of you’ note
You don’t need to write an epic letter to show you care. Sending a short ‘thinking of you’ message to a loved one might make their day a little easier.
3) Create a jar of memories
If you’re holding onto precious memories of someone who’s passed away, why not share your stories with someone else who will enjoy hearing them? You could write down some of your favourites, fold them up and pop them into a jar. This is a lovely gift for a close friend or family member who might find comfort in reading your memories at a time that feels right for them.
4) Look out for one another
Over the past year, we’ve not been able to see much of our loved one’s face to face. Unless we regularly pick up the phone, it isn’t easy to know exactly how people feel. If your friend is usually active on social media, be aware of any posts (or lack of posts) that may suggest they’re struggling. Send them a direct message, arrange a call or suggest a video chat to check-in and see how they’re getting on.
5) Recommend a book or podcast
If you’ve read a great book or listened to a podcast that you think your friend will like, why not make a recommendation or send a gift? Maybe you’ve experienced a loss in your own life and can share a book that’s helped you find moments of peace. Remember, everyone grieves differently and so what’s right for one person might not be for someone else. Your friend might prefer a podcast to take their mind off grief or a book they can get lost in.
6) Start a fundraiser
Running a fundraising event is a special way to pay tribute. It can mean a great deal to close friends and family members of someone who’s passed away, particularly if it’s for a cause that was close to their loved one’s heart.