While gathering restrictions have been lifted in many parts of the country, enabling families to gather and say goodbye, many families during the pandemic were unable to do so. As you can imagine, not having the opportunity to hold a traditional funeral or memorial service was very difficult for family and friends who would have benefitted from gathering and receiving the support of others as they begin the grief journey. Fortunately, there are still ways you can support them. Even if the death was months or years ago, your support will be meaningful for people who continue to grieve.
Check in with grieving family members and friends often by phone. Invite them to tell you stories about their loved one and share stories of your own. Making personal connections with people who have experienced a loss is very beneficial as they begin to adjust to a world without their loved one. In addition, under normal circumstances, grief can be a very isolating experience. It is even more so now, given that some people continue to be isolated. Staying connected can make all the difference in the world to someone who is grieving.
Sign the guest book on the funeral home’s website if there is one. Include a fond memory.
Make a donation in the individual’s name and write a personal note to the family about your donation.
Send a card and include a handwritten note about a memory you have of the individual or how that individual had an impact on your life.
Make an offer to have the family or friends of the loved one over for dinner if you and they are comfortable doing so. Make sure you remember to follow through on your offer.
Offer to have food delivered to their home or pick up a meal from a restaurant offering takeout food and deliver it to their home (if this option is available in your community).
Fill a jar with memories of the loved one and mail it to the family. Family members can read the memories at their leisure and be reminded of special times.