Finding the right words to comfort her didn’t come easy. There was nothing I could say that would bring Jeff back and nothing I could do to take her pain away.
My daughter’s dear friend had just lost his father. The school released her early so we could be with them. Knowing that they wouldn’t remember what we said or did but they would remember that we were there, we went over and offered to help.
Having just lost the 3rd family member in 3 years, I understood the shock she was experiencing. Although we all grieve differently, that shock is universal. So many thoughts race through your head at the same time.
“This can’t be real.”
“What do I do now?
“How will I pay for this?”
As well as so many more, all rushing at you at a time when you have to concentrate on just breathing.
Those broad offers to help were overwhelming.
Yes I needed help.
Of course I needed help!
What do I need help with? Everything – how do I narrow that down to one or two things you can do for me?
Remembering these feelings, I offered help in specific ways. “Let me take care of supper for you tonight.” “Do you have paper plates, toilet paper, and paper towels? I’ll go get them for you if you don’t.”
Despite having recently been the bereaved, I still didn’t have the right words or any way to fix anything. Trying to “fix” things is part of my nature and it was so difficult knowing I couldn’t fix this. All I could do was run some errands, get her food for the first night, and sit with her until her family could arrive later that day. It didn’t seem like enough. I should be doing more.
If I was running to Walmart, I stopped by and asked what they needed. During the funeral, I sat with the kids from school who were there to support their friend as he buried his father. It still didn’t feel like I was doing enough.
Then it hit me. The only thing I needed to do, the thing that meant the most for me when I was grieving, was to just sit with her and let her talk. I didn’t need to know the right words to say. All I had to do was ask how she was doing and be prepared for tears.
Anne from Kidderbug Kreations
If you are interested in other ways to help the bereaved, check out these articles as well as the memory items available from Kidderbug Kreations.