On Helping a Friend or Neighbour Cope With Loss

Before The Funeral

1. Offer to notify his/her family and friends about funeral arrangements

2. House-sit to prevent burglaries during the funeral and visitations

3. Help answering the phone and greeting visitors

4. Keep a record of everyone who calls, visits or has been contacted

5. Help co-ordinate the food and drink supply

6. Offer to pick up friends and family at the airport

7. Arrange housing

8. Offer to provide transportation for out-of town visitors

9. Help him/her keep the house cleaned and the dishes washed

After The Funeral

1. Prepare or provide dinner on a day that is mutually acceptable

2. Do step 1 every week for two to three months

3. Offer to help with yard chores such as watering or pruning

4. Feed and exercise the pets, if any

5. Write notes offering encouragement and support

6. Offer to drive or accompany him/her to the cemetery regularly

7. Offer to house-sit so he/she can get away or visit family out of town

8. Make a weekly run to the grocery store, laundry, or cleaners

9. Help with the thank-you notes and/or other correspondence

10. Anticipate difficult periods such as anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and the day of death

11. Always mention the deceased by name and encourage reminiscing

Above all, just listening and your concern and presence will help.