List of support ideas

Offer to make ordinary every-day things easier so that your grieving person can have the luxury of just being devastated. - Megan Devine

Especially in those early days (in this case we're talking about sort of tight or around the incident or around the death) tending the organism is a great thing to do. That’s things like bring those casseroles, set up your meal train, so that your grieving person or your grieving person doesn't have to worry about sort of the mundane and ordinary things.

I think one of the real cruelties of grief is that the rest of the world keeps operating. Your world may have just completely disintegrated and stopped, but the recycling still needs to go out, the mail still needs to get picked up. If there are kids kids, the kids still need to go to school. So, anything you can do as a support person that makes those mundane and ordinary things easier so that your grieving person or grieving family can have the luxury of just being devastated.

A great way to do that would be things like, “I want to make things as easy as possible for you. I would love to come over on Tuesday and pick up the recycling, would that be OK with you? Or, the thing I know best to do in situations like this is I get nervous and I clean. I would love to come over and clean your house for you, would that be OK?

  • Show up and listen
  • Bring them a meal (remember breakfast and lunch, too!)
  • Help with lawn care
  • Decorate their front door for the upcoming holiday
  • Answer when they call/text
  • Babysit their kids
  • Help with their laundry
  • Drop-off/pick-up their dry cleaning
  • Get coffee together
  • Invite them out for a walk
  • Include them in social events (even if they have turned you down in the past)
  • Do their dishes
  • Wash their car
  • Bring groceries
  • Offer to cook together
  • Bring healthy snacks
  • Make them a music playlist
  • Ask if they want to talk, and just listen
  • Ask if others have left dishes you could return
  • Check-in regularly
  • Give a gift certificate for self-care
  • Take their garbage/recycling out
  • Help with transportation
  • Keep asking, even if they’ve refused help before
  • Replenish pantry staples
  • Buy them stamps and stationery
  • Set up a laundry service
  • Set up a cleaning service
  • Bring paper products - toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, napkins, plates, etc.
  • Gift cards for retail therapy
  • Bring mints or gum
  • Help with their pets
  • Plan a fun night for their kids
  • Bring toiletries
  • Offer to vacuum
  • Bring coffee or dessert
  • Bring art supplies
  • Bring a journal
  • Gift certificate for a writing workshop
  • Gift card to a bookstore
  • Invite them out into nature
  • Ask about their loved one by name
  • Set a calendar reminder to reach out around milestones and holidays
  • Bring fresh fruit
  • Offer to organize a memory book or legacy box
  • Watch a funny movie together
  • Invite them to do an exercise class with you
  • Do home repairs
  • Run errands
  • Invite them for the holidays
  • Help organize bills
  • Send a care package
  • Help with pet vet appointments
  • Take them to a farmer’s market
  • Go for a bike ride together
  • Go volunteer with them
  • Accompany them to spiritual services
  • Bring fresh vegetables
  • Help sort through or pack up the loved one’s belongings
  • Help with taxes
  • Help organize finances
  • Show up if there is an emergency
  • Research resources for them