Welcome to ATD. Thank you for the query.
The death of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiencnces. She must be feeling isolated and alone in her grief, but having someone to lean on can help her through the grieving process.
Don’t let discomfort prevent you from reaching out to someone grieving. Now, more than ever, your support is needed. You might not know exactly what to say or what to do, but that’s okay. You don’t need to have answers or give advice. The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is to simply be there; your support and caring presence will help him or her cope with the pain and begin to heal.
There are many practical ways you can help a grieving person. You can offer to:
Shop for groceries or run errands
Drop off a casserole or other type of food
Help with funeral arrangements
Stay in her home to take phone calls and receive guests
Help with insurance forms or bills
Take care of housework, such as cleaning or laundry
Drive her wherever she needs to go
Look after her pets
Go with her to a support group meeting
Accompany her on a walk
Take her to lunch or a movie
Share an enjoyable activity (game, puzzle, art project)
It’s common for a grieving person to feel depressed, confused, disconnected from others, or like he or she is going crazy. But if the bereaved person’s symptoms don’t gradually start to fade—or they get worse with time—this may be a sign that normal grief has evolved into a more serious problem, such as clinical depression.
Encourage the grieving person to seek professional help if you observe any of the following warning signs after the initial grieving period—especially if it’s been over two months since the death.
Difficulty functioning in daily life
Extreme focus on the death
Excessive bitterness, anger, or guilt
Neglecting personal hygiene
Alcohol or drug abuse
Inability to enjoy life
Withdrawing from others
Constant feelings of hopelessness
Talking about dying or suicide
Hope this helps. Take care.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.