Watching a friend go through the grieving process can make us feel helpless; a condition only worsened when we live far away from them or are constantly on the traveling road. If you’re looking for ways to be there for your friend after a terrible loss even from halfway across the world, consider these heartfelt actions you can take to show your support, even from across the world.
Utilize the Technology You Have
We are lucky to live in a world that offers endless ways for us to communicate. Don’t wait for phone calls. Pick up the phone and call; even if they don’t answer, they know you’re there and have the option to call you back when they’re ready. Don’t wait for your friend to initiate the conversation, but don’t push. It’s a delicate balance, but treading the line between respectful and available is the best possible way to support a grieving loved one. You may feel like you have to provide words of encouragement, but no one has the answers when a tragedy happens. The best thing you can do for your friend is just to listen.
Even the most seemingly insignificant of gestures can make a huge difference to someone who is grieving. Whether it’s a delivery of groceries to his or her door to save a trip to the grocery store or a card with heartfelt sentiments written inside, sending small surprises is a way to let them know you’re thinking of them. If you’re unable to attend the services, be sure to send your condolences with funeral flowers as a show of solidarity. A sweet care package with all of their favorite things will bring a spot of brightness to an otherwise horrible time and remind them that you’re thinking of them every time they use one of the items. Maybe it’s snacks, magazines, and an inspirational book you think will help—you know them best, so whatever you choose it’s sure to bring a smile to his or her face.
Help With Costs
Funerals are expensive, and your friend might be facing financial hardships to make ends meet. If you’re unable to make a monetary donation to the costs, consider donating your time and effort. Put together a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe and share it with family and friends to start an account for your friend’s financial necessities.
Plan a Future Visit
You might not be able to see them in person right now, but you can plan a trip to make it out and be there for them. The grieving process doesn’t have an end date, and the support you offer a month or even six months down the road will be just as essential as it is in the days after the loss. Many make the mistake of calling in the first few days or weeks after a death and then never calling again. Help your friend understand that you’re in it for the long haul and will be there no matter when they need you.
Do, Don’t Ask
Instead of asking what you can do, figure out what your friend needs on your own and do it, no questions asked. The last thing a grieving individual needs is to be badgered with questions, and they may not be the type of person who can indicate when they need help. Since you are far away, you can send a cleaning service to their home, have groceries delivered through a service like Envoy, or organize a group of local friends who can drop off hot meals to the family during their initial grieving process.
Donations in Their Loved One’s Honor
Sometimes it can feel like our loved ones who have passed on are forgotten. Make sure your friend knows their family member’s memory will live on by donating to a cause that was near and dear to their heart. This way, something positive comes out of a time of great loss, and they’ll be touched by your efforts to help their loved one’s spirit continue making a difference in the world.
As a friend, it’s our duty to be there for our loved ones when they are facing a time of great grief even when travel and other life responsibilities make it impossible to be there with them. Consider using these tips to help your friend when they’ve lost someone near to them and be there for them in a way that will help them start the healing process.
Far Away – by Maersk on pixabay – public domain
Flower – By steinchen on pixabay – public domain
Guest Author Bio
When my wife and I purchased our home in the Spring of 2013, I became a stay-at-home-dad to our two wonderful and wacky Malteses – Digit and Poppy. Hailing from Western Pennsylvania and currently residing in Central California, my hobbies include golf, tennis, jazz music, and eating. While journalism was my college minor, crafting and DIY have always been my creative outlets. So sit back, pour up a drink, and let’s make something together!
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