Before a funeral, the bereaved is distraught and disturbed. While reeling in the sense of loss, one cannot expect them to be up to the job of planning the funeral. If you are close friends with the bereaved and you want to make them feel better, this is the time to step up. At such times, any help is welcome. So instead of offering help and telling them you are there for them, come up with specific ideas to help before the funeral. Here are some ways you can do so –
Coordinate with visiting guests
At funerals, there are many guests coming from out of town and need to be cared for. Their accommodation, food, transport etc. are some things that need to be looked after. Offer to pick up the guests at the airport or the railway station or the bus station. Make sure there is enough reservation of accommodation. Offer for the guests to stay over at your house or call up a hotel to reserve a few rooms. By handling the visiting guests, you are taking up a big chunk of the responsibility.
Coordinate the food
Being the most common gift, food is something that the bereaved is going to get amply. Many guests will be bringing in homemade food or from the restaurant or deli. You can take over the responsibility of managing the food. The track needs to be kept of who has brought what and off the dishes and containers too. Homemade food is brought in personal dishes and containers which need to be returned to the owners. You need to make sure the food is stocked properly in the fridge. Failure to track will make it impossible to differentiate between the fresh and stale.
Prepare the house for guests
If the grieving family is expecting guests at the funeral, then the house must be prepared for them. You could take that responsibility on your shoulders. The house must be cleaned, the fridge must be stocked, beds need to be arranged, etc. You must also check up on the toiletries so that when the guests are here, there is no discomfort. Make sure you have paper napkins and plates for everyone.
Take care of the kids
Deaths leave behind an emotionally tumultuous environment in the house. Seeing grieve stricken parents can be disturbing to the kids. Besides, the parents won’t be able to look after the kids as much as they usually do. You could take on the responsibility of the kids at such a time. Really small kids don’t need to be in such an environment and so you can babysit until the funeral. Many times parents find themselves with a lot of responsibilities to handle and can miss out the food timing of the kids. Make sure the kids are well fed and play at their usual time. You can also offer to take them to the park or the museum to keep them off the hands of their parents.
These are just some things that can share do to share some responsibility with the grieving in such a difficult time. It’s comforting to have someone show “I have got your back” with gestures!
Keith Dunham is a writer by profession and a frequent blogger. He works for abbeycremation.com and has recently started focusing on developing a caring and kind nature so that he can be helpful to others in bad times.
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