Keep checking in
Grief support doesn’t end with the shelf-life of your lasagna. - Megan Devine
Remember to keep checking in with your person as their needs will change over time.
It’s ok to use reminders to check-in.
It can be helpful to set reminders for you to reach out to your grieving friend. Add them to your calendar so you remember to touch base. Doing so doesn’t make your support less genuine.
When you’re caring for a person who’s grieving, I think that, that you, if you find out what you can do for that person within yourself, then, then also ask yourself, how can I keep doing it? Is it going to be one time? Is it going to be every year? How am I going to remember what type of person do I want to be to the grieving person in that moment?
And for me, the handful of people that every November will come up and just grab me and give me a hug. I know one of my best friends at work just has it in his Google calendar for Paul’s birthday, and I know how he remembers; I know what triggers him. It’s, he feels emotion maybe when his reminder or notification comes up. Maybe he doesn’t think about it, but the fact that he put it in his calendar, and it goes off, and he sees it on his phone, and he comes up to me and he says something. It’s so meaningful -- it’s the consistency. You know, it’s not actually the act as a person who’s going to intentionally carve out that for as long as they can to make space for you. So I’ve been lucky in that regard. Really, really, lucky.
Birthdays, anniversaries, date of diagnosis, date of death, certain holidays – any meaningful day can be especially difficult for a griever.
For some grievers, the ordinary day-to-day can be just as challenging as the big days like holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Check-in regularly and offer to spend time together.
We might remember our grieving friend or family around the dead person’s birthday or around the holiday season or around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We might come in and be like “Oh, I know Mother’s Day is really hard for you.” Well, yes. Mother’s Day can be hard for people who have lost a mother figure in their lives.
But, every day is hard.
Every day they’re living without their mom.
So, remembering your people on the average ordinary Tuesday. You don’t know that unless you check in with them.