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Funeral preparation can be hard on everyone. Grieving families often find funeral planning very difficult - there’s a lot of planning to do in a short time, during an emotionally trying experience. When someone you love is planning a funeral, it’s natural to want to help; it’s also natural to not be sure exactly how to help them. The details of where the funeral will take place and what types of ceremonies will be held are usually left up to close family members. When your loved ones are doing that kind of planning, how can you help them?
Our natural instinct when we want to help, but aren’t sure how, is to ask, "How can I help?". You should avoid asking that question if you can. When people are experiencing a lot of stress, they might not even know what help they need, let alone how you can offer it. They are under the pressure of having to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time, so instead of giving them another decision to make, create a list of ways you can help, and offer to help in those specific ways.
One way you can help a loved one who is grieving is by making sure their personal affairs are taken care of. That might mean doing household chores like keeping the house clean, taking out the garbage and making sure the fridge is stocked for expected guests. You might even be making calls to lawyers and bankers for your loved one.
Another popular option is to cook food for them - a lot of food, and if possible, make menu items that are easily reheated. Domestic tasks tend to fall by the wayside when someone has passed away because the intense emotions experienced, including bouts of depression, often make it difficult, if not impossible, to cook and clean in the same way one normally would.
Do you have incredible organizational skills? One way you may be able to help is by coordinating people, places, and things. Talk with guests coming in from out of town and help arrange to find places to stay for them as well as access to transportation, if needed. When people are bringing in food, help them find a place to put it. When people are calling to see how they can help, find tasks for them, coordinating with everyone else who is looking to help. In other words, listen to the other people who care about your loved one and help create a team that acts as one big support network.
Being there for your loved one - to talk, to listen, to help, to support - it’s one of the most important things you can do when they’re grieving. Here at Korban, we strive to be one of the pillars of support for our community. As a Catholic funeral home Winnipeg residents have relied on since 1977, we’ll always be there for you when you need us.