Supporting grieving family members is a difficult task and social distancing has made that task even harder.
However, this does not mean that grief and loss are taking a break. On the contrary, the fact that we are more isolated now means that it is more important than ever to reach out to and support those who are grieving.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to show your support.
1) Help with funeral arrangements. Planning a funeral is a difficult task. If you can’t be there in person, you can still support your loved one in these decisions. If the decisions are made via phone call, offer to be on the call with them. Also, reassure your loved one that even though having a funeral service may feel difficult, it is still possible and even beneficial at this time.
2) Phone calls. Never underestimate the value of a listening ear. Don’t forget to call and check in frequently.
3) Video chats. If you have the capability, video chatting can be a great tool.
4) Have a meal delivered. If you can’t prepare food to take to your loved one during this time, you can contact a local restaurant to provide a food delivery.
5) Have groceries delivered. If you know their grocery preferences, place an order for them for delivery. Include easy to prepare meals in the delivery.
6) Schedule to have someone take care of routine tasks. There may still be services available that are doing routine tasks such as dog walking or laundry care.
7) Send a letter, email or ecard. Sending a heartfelt message is a great way to show your love and support.
8) Send flowers. Many flower delivery services are still operating and can safely deliver flowers to a loved one’s home.
9) Drop off a care package or have something delivered. You might be able to drop off some special items that your loved one appreciates or have them delivered.
10) Do something together "virtually.” So many places are providing free online content right now. Take a virtual museum trip together. Pick out a movie to watch together. Try out a new recipe together. Use a program like Facetime, Zoom or GoToMeeting to share your experience live on your computer, tablet or smart phone.