I thought this blog would help people who are trying to comfort someone who has lost a loved one dear to them. What do you say? What do you do? I am not sure there are any right answers in these situations as everyone handles grief a little different. So I will just write about what helped both Greg and myself during the time of Eli’s death.
What people did:
We had our friends and church family take turns bringing us meals and groceries from the store…that was very helpful. For me personally I always liked when the person dropping off the meal would only stay for a short visit because it was hard for me to visit too much the first few days. I remember one woman from our church who came by with dinner. I did not know her that well before she came, but she sat and colored with Leah (my oldest) and had really nice talks with her. I left the room to do odds and ends, but they were having a blast together. That really meant a lot to me as I was so concerned about giving my other two kids the attention they needed and craved. I also remember a neighbor who called about 3 weeks after Eli died and told me she was bringing me groceries. Those two acts of kindness were so special and appreciated. There is not too much to talk about or say, but acts of kindness go a long way.
Here are a few examples that I can think of that would help another with grief:
Cleaning their house
Picking up a few groceries
Coming to play with the kids
I remember when a good friend called me the day after Eli died. She desperately wanted to come over and help with something. I really did not know what she could do, but then I remembered how much she likes to clean (her house is spotless…quite different from my own). So I told her she could come and clean my fridge (which really needed a cleaning) if she wanted. She was over in ten minutes. That kind of friendship is hard to find and so treasured by me.
I also had a very good friend of mine who came over to my house after the funeral and just sat in my bed with me. I think we sat in silence for atleast an hour; which is amazing for me as I cannot stop talking most of the time. But there are times in life when there really is nothing to say. She is my best friend and was there for me every step of the way. Because Eli died of SIDS an investigation had to take place. It was 3 days after he died and a police officer came over and then a social worker. My friend was there the whole day with me even though she had her own children at home.
I think the most important thing to ask yourself is, “what would I crave or need if I were in this situation?” People need to feel loved and thought about during this difficult time. And if you are a friend or a loved one, you just show it by selfless acts of kindness and being there. It is a great way to help yourself “die to self” as Christ commands us to do. To put our needs behind those of others. To take up that cross for a friend and to walk along as we carry it for them.
Most days I am at peace with the death of Eli. But there are some days that sneak up on me and threaten to throw me under. I think that most of the good days are because of all of the prayers and love shown to us during his death. I know without a doubt that Eli is being loved and cared for by the greatest Father of all. How awesome is that?