When a Friend Grieves: Your Guide to Being a Super Hero


So the last two months have been great.

They've also been tough.

{Perhaps an understatement?}

Fortunately, we have some amazing friends
who have made our lives a bit brighter
and have keep us incredibly taken care of.

I hope that no one ever goes through what we did,
but if/when you find a friend going through a tough time-
here are some ways we have been (& continue to be) loved
that have rocked our world.

So skim this post today,
but bookmark it for later
when you need to put on your knight armor
& trot off to rescue someone in need.







Who ever knows what to say in such circumstances?

Probably not you,
but the good news is that 
your friend that is hurting doesn't have 
the right words to say either.

No one really knows what to say on either end.

Are you doing okay?
Well, no not really.

I understand what you're going through.
Great, but it still hurts.

Is there anything I can do?
Yes, but I have no clue where to start.

When you're in these moments,
here are some ways to say that you care
without actually saying it.



Groceries!

Once a week, bring by essentials: 
bread, milk, coffee, jam, toilet paper, kleenex, magazines,
cereal, fresh fruit, or whatever else they might often use.

It's an easy, quick way to help
keep life going on
when it feels anything other than normal.









Perhaps the most common route,
but not one to be overlooked!

This is a tangible way for you to send your thoughts.

We got flooded with cards
that at the time,
I couldn't really process...
but these days,
these letters and thoughts 
are so sweet to read over.

And over time, it will be a nice reminder
of who walked through this with us.

{Emails are also pretty sweet, too.}

***

Another amazing thing:
friends that have sent postcards & notes at random
now weeks later
sending sweet notes to uplift us,
silly notes written from "Kate Middleton,"
& encouraging us with sweet sentiments.





The first thing I think is important to say
is that the first response wave is crucial to helping someone through tragedy...

These are the people that come and visit you in the hospital.
They send flowers & baskets of muffins to warm up your home.
Their presence helps make the suddent impact of everything better.

Then comes the second round.
These are the meals that are brought to lighten the daily load.
These are the letters & cards that arrive to offer love and mark the occasion.
These are the gifts that try to ease the loss.

But after the initial shock is over
and people go about their daily routine,
the hurting are still reeling.

And then, comes the (often forgotten,) third round.

This is where small notes arrive in the mail after the others have stopped
just reminding you that you are being thought of & prayed over.
These are the flowers that arrive months later when the others have long been thrown out.
This is the massage appointment that has been booked for you.

My advice is this:
reach out initially with love
and immediately call a florist/spa/food delivery service
and do whatever it is that you can do to love them...
but arrange that the gift is given several weeks later.

It will remind them that someone is still thinking of them
and offer a huge impact in the quieter days ahead.


****

We were lucky to have friends use the amazing site,
to coordinate meals & drop-offs
that were scheduled for 4 nights a week
for eight weeks after our babies were born.

It was so nice and gave us time to see everyone 
and visit with them individually.





We were spoiled with special gifts
from friends & family
that eased our grieving 
and commemorated our daughters.

Beautiful jewelry with the girls initials to wear as a reminder,
relaxing bath oil to use when I needed to hide out,
& sweet handmade blankets knitted with love and prayers.

When everything sucks in your life,
it may seem shallow- 
but it does feel great to be pampered.

You need to have some sort of win,
and while things won't ever replace your loss,
it does make you feel like you're ahead of the game 
in some small way.

________________


So there you have it.

I hope you don't have to use any of this anytime soon...
but if/when you do-
just know that no matter how you reach out in love for someone,
you probably can't go wrong.

Doing anything is better than doing something that isn't perfect.





Posted on April 25, 2013 and filed under "babies", "friends", "life".