101 Ways You Can Help: How to Offer Comfort and Support to Those Who Are Grieving

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Sourcebooks, Inc., May 1, 2009 - Self-Help - 224 pages
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What to Do (and What Not to Do) When a Friend, Co-Worker, or Relative Suffers a Loss

With 101 quick and concrete suggestions you can use immediately, 101 Ways You Can Help offers practical information on the dos and don'ts of handling grief and loss. You'll find the universal basics of helping, as well as specific tools for how to offer support based on your relationship to the person who is grieving, from a boss to a backyard neighbor:

  • Accept that you can't fix it. Stop trying.
  • Tuck a book of stamps in that sympathy card.
  • Donate a vacation day.
  • Don't say: "She's in a better place."
  • Be a little pushy.
  • Help with the pets.
  • Listen.

There are an estimated eight million newly bereaved people in the United States each year. Through this book, Liz Aleshire, who experienced personally and professionally what helps and what hurts, encourages you to reach out and gives you suggestions on how to ease the delicate situations surrounding bereavement.

 

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Contents

The Basic Dos
1
Accept that you cant fix it and stop trying
2
Go to the viewing or wake
3
Just say Im sorry for your loss
6
Tell an anecdote
8
Let her cry
9
Go ahead and give him a hug
10
Dress appropriately
11
Visit once a week
76
While youre there check things out
77
Roll up your sleeves and get to work on outdoor home maintenance
78
Roll up your sleeves and get to work on inside home maintenance
79
Offer to run an errand
80
Be a little pushy
81
Be pushier
82
Have his children over to your house
83

Go to the funeral
12
When its OK to bring children
14
When its not OK to bring children
15
When you cant go to the funeral
16
The Basic Donts
19
Dont say Shes in a better place
20
Dont say At least he went quickly
21
Dont say What doesnt kill us makes us stronger
22
Dont say I knew someone who
23
Dont say He must have died to teach us something
24
Dont say He or She It or They must have needed her
25
Dont say You should be happy for how long you did have him
26
Dont say God or Buddha Mother Nature Allah the Universe or the Great Pumpkin never gives us more than we can handle
28
Dont say You need to get on with your life
29
When the Bereaved Is a Friend Who Shares a Common Interest
31
Tuck a book of stamps in with that sympathy card
32
Plan a playdate
33
Visit the bereaved at home
34
Arrange to be an escort to your next meeting or event
35
Offer to do all the work to hold a meeting of your group at his home
37
Be careful what you offerthe septic tank might be full
38
Read that body language
41
Shut up and listen
43
When the Bereaved Is Your Coworker
45
Offer to be the workplace newscaster
46
Dont push her to come back to work too soon
47
Offer to take on a task
48
Dont dump those tasks on her desk on her first day back at work
49
Donate a vacation day
50
Take up a collection at the office
51
Set up the trust fund the right way
52
Managers inform and support your employee regarding the companys leave policy
55
Managers educate your staff about grief and bereavement
56
Work to change the Family Medical Leave Act to include the bereaved
58
Shes not different shes just sad
60
By gosh dont gush
61
When the Bereaved Is Your Neighbor
63
Give him the gift of time
64
Allow her to grieve her way
66
Food herbs and other natural remedies that help
68
Offer to watch the house during the funeral
72
Offer to care for infants during the funeral
73
Say yes when asked to be a pallbearer
74
Speak up first about the deceased at the funeral
75
Help out with holidays and events
84
Shut up and listen to children
87
Recommend a childrens grief support program
89
When the Bereaved Is Your Best Friend or a Member of Your Family
93
Smarten up Learn about the process of grief
94
Give her permission to grieve
101
Validate his feelings
102
Validate grief
104
Validate relief
105
Spend time with her in her home
106
Offer to help with funeral arrangements
107
Do the eulogy
110
Create a testimonial
112
Create a website
118
Know when to hold em and know when to hug em
120
Help with the pets
122
Offer to help with the paperwork
123
Make sure she is as financially stable as possible
126
Help go through the deceaseds clothing and belongings
129
Keep an eye on her health and safetyand the kids too
131
Be very pushy
133
Remember your favorite fun thing and do it again
135
Buy an unsubtle gift
136
Remember its not only the person whos gone
137
Buy her a journal
138
Keep a journal for him
140
Arrange to go to a conference on grieving
141
Suggest a support group
142
Suggest a grief counselor
143
Agree with the bereaved
144
Call call call
146
Make him feel needed
148
Dont forget the personal holidays
149
Remember roles in holiday traditions and family gatherings
151
Take care of yourself
152
Help with the hard decisions
153
Dont assume the spouse will be able to help
160
One more timeshut up and listen
161
Attending Funeral and Memorial Services
165
Bibliography
175
Web Resources
179
About the Author
187
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Liz Aleshire lost her only son to cancer when he was just 16. This is the book she wanted to hand to those who tried to comfort her. After she recently became seriously ill before passing away in October, six of her friends adopted the spirit of the book and helped finish writing it.

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