Your presence is important, especially in the weeks and months following the funeral. Say less. Be there more.
Be a good listener
Grieving people need to tell their stories. Ask if it is OK to bring up the person who died (I'll bet you get a resounding YES and a "thank you" for being willing to step beyond the "zone of silence" that frequently surrounds a grieving person). Learn about "reflective listening" that focuses on listening, acknowledging and exploring before responding. Ask open-ended questions or comments that encourage a grieving person to talk, such as "Do you feel like talking?," or "You seem like you're having a tough day today..." or "You've been on my mind today, and I just thought I'd call to see how you're doing."
Be careful with cliches and advice
It is better to be a "sounding board" and assist a grieving person in coming to his/her own conclusions.
Don't tell a grieving person what he/she should feel.
Share memories of the deceased.
Remember holidays, birthdays, and important anniversaries (including the date of death)
Show you care by calling, sending a card, or visiting with a grieving person - acknowledge that these may be extra painful times.
Learn about death and grieving
At Jamieson & Yannucci Funeral Home, we offer a wide variety of helpful resources and referrals from our Follow Through Services Coordinator, Kelly Larger. We provide this extension of our service without charge.
Bear in mind that grief has no time table
Every death is different and everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. Grieving people need our support, not timetables.
Grieving people must sometimes be reminded of the need to care for their physical selves
Adequate nutrition and hydration (lots of water) can easily be omitted by a person consumed with the pain of grieving.
Include children, but do not force participation
A child old enough to love is old enough to grieve.
Tears are a good thing!
Beyond the mental benefits of releasing emotions, medical studies confirm the physiological benefits of crying.
Consider the need for consultation with a professional counselor
Sometimes, grief is so overwhelming that professional intervention is necessary.