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Supporting Those Who are Grieving

Today marks 5 deaths in the last week. Crazy! Three of my friends lost their parents. Whenever someone else dies, you may be reminded of the loved one who passed on from your life. Grief is often resurrected as you begin to re-live some of the pain your friend is likely experiencing.

Most people are uncomfortable with reaching out to friends who have experienced a recent death. As a grief counselor, here are a few suggestions to reach out to.

**Don’t wait. Text them or call immediately. If they don’t respond, it isn’t because they are annoyed that you reached out, but they may (or may not) respond when they are ready.

**Join the meal train. Sign up to bring them a meal. In the beginning, the food can be overwhelming because there is just too much. Think about making food that can be shared with visitors at the house, like veggie platters or cookies. Leave behind some Gladware that they can use to freeze or give away to visitors (to avoid spoiled food).

**Donate money to their go fund me or memorial fund. Many people don’t order flowers, but the family will be grateful for your legacy gift.

**Don’t forget the little kids. Juice boxes or frozen meals like Mac and cheese that can be microwaved later is helpful.

**Mark your calendar for three months from now. Check-in with your friend. Here’s what you can say, “Hey, it’s been a few months since Jessica’s death. I wanted to check in with you. What do you need support with...” (driving kids, meals, finding a grief group, errands, legal resources, etc.)

**Mark your calendar for one year from now. Most people will forget about the first anniversary until you see something on social media. Be proactive and reach out as the date gets closer.

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