This is the May installment of our monthly series called “Teach Us To Love” that goes through concrete ways you can help those in difficult situations – everything from teen moms to child cancer patients to shut-ins – through interviews with experts who really understand what people in those situations are going through and have a good sense of what would really help them. This week we are talking about helping people dealing with grief.
A lot of people want to help others and A. don’t know what to do because they really don’t understand the situation or B. only know of options that involve giving money and may feel like that is not something their family can do for whatever reason. This series exists to help bridge the gap between people in need and those with a desire to serve and practice the corporal works of mercy.
For this article on serving the grieving I interviewed Christine Henderson. Christine has been married to her best friend for twenty-three years and has six children who she homeschools. After eighteen years of homeschooling, She is down to two left–a fifth grader and an eighth grader. Christine loves speaking to groups on various topics such as grief, prayer as a busy mom, making the most of the days God gives us, and also bringing the saints ALIVE by becoming one of the great saints and speaking “in character.” You can check out her website here and her blog here. She has also recorded a video about grief here.
SO LET’S JUMP RIGHT IN! What do you wish people knew about people suffering grief?
When people are in the middle of grief, they often can’t see ten feet ahead. Be there for them with concrete actions. Don’t just say, “Call me if you need anything.” Figure out what they need and then DO IT!
What are some concrete things people can do to help others in grief?
1. Call them.
2. Go visit them.
3. LISTEN (even if you have heard the story before – as many times as they want to tell it.)
4. Pray for them.
5. Help with meals.
6. Help with child care. Offer to take the kids for a few hours or overnight.
7. Run errands for them. Call them up and find out if they need anything from the grocery store. Call and say, “I am running to the grocery store and thought I would pick up some milk and eggs for you. Do you need anything else?”
Is there anything else helpful for readers or any resources you can share for more info on helping those struggling with grief?
*If you or a friend has had a stillbirth: Alexandra’s House http://alexandrashouse.com
*Churches often have grief support groups –check out local parishes websites to find out about them.
*Griever: Be specific to friends/family of what you need. Others want to help but don’t know how.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME Christine!
What do you do to help people who are grieving? What do you think we need to be doing both as individuals and as communities to help people feel loved during these difficult times? Let me know in the comments!