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Simple Ways to Help a Grieving Family

I received samples and compensation for sharing my experience
Dream Dinners ShareCrate. All opinions are my own. 

2 years ago, my family changed forever.

We lost a child and our hearts were devastated. I could barely function, barely get up in the morning, I was shattered and in shock and disbelief. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to us.

There was so much to do. I wanted to refuse it all. Cleaning. Dinners. A memorial to plan. The list went on and on. And there I sat in the midst of all the chaos just wanting to crawl into bed and imagine a different life, a different scenario.

Our friends and our family came to our rescue. They were there to clean up the cluttered house, to help with our other children, to lend a listening ear, and to bring in meals for our family. They pitched in their time and resources to help in anyway that they could. I will be forever grateful for their sacrifice at a time when we relied so heavily on the help of others.

I can remember so. many. people. They were asking me how they could help, what they could do for our family, what we needed. At the time I didn’t know. I was too lost in disbelief to answer. But there were those who didn’t ask an open ended question of what did I need. Instead, they just showed up. They just acted without needing to ask. Or they were just there waiting to see what the needs might be and filled in.

When we have someone close to us that is facing grief, it can be hard to know how to step in and help. People generally want to help and want to show their support, but often don’t know how. These are some of the things that helped our family that can be easy to replicate. Don’t wait for someone to reply how you can help, these simple ways to help a grieving family you can do, without waiting to be asked.

Simple Ways to Help a Grieving Family

Simple things you can do to help a family that is grieving cope with their loss. Ways you can serve or reach out to your loved ones that are grieving.

1. Bring in Meals – A home cooked meal can change everything for a family. Though it may be one of the hardest things to do while in the middle of the trauma. It’s easier to just grab a pizza or fast food and skip a family meal, but those quick options can’t be relied on for long and don’t help with the healing process.

Dinners can seem so simple, but they really helped our family feel as much like “normal” as we could and kept us all talking and connecting to keep the rest of the family together through the tragedy.

2. Watch the Children – If the family has children, the adults have to hide some of their own grief in order to create a healthy environment for the children to grieve. Giving the adults some time away to just cry and do nothing, or to get out of the house and start seeing some light in the world again, or just to get something done around the house can really be healing.

3. Be a Chauffeur – Drive the kids to appointments or to school or be available to drive the adults to the hospital or to the different appointments that may follow from funeral planning to counseling or whatever the need may be.

4. Clean the House – Volunteer your time to clean up the place. A tidy house will quickly fall on the priority list and it can be hard to function even when you’re feeling good when the home is a mess.

5. Field the Phone Calls and Questions – We would communicate things to a few close family members and friends, and they would fill in the rest of those that had questions or comments. It saved us from having to repeat the story over and over or tackle all the advice, commentary, or questions that inevitably followed.

6. Be There to Listen – If you’re a close family member or friend, be one who listens. They won’t need answers or advice, unless they ask for it. Otherwise, just listen, just love, just be present. That’s all they need.

7. Collect or Create Keepsakes – When you lose someone, you want more than anything to feel like they are still with you. A group of my friends pitched in together to buy a personalized necklace for me with my son’s name. It’s just a small memento but to me it meant so much because it reminds me that he isn’t forgotten. We also made a blanket with pictures of our favorite memories and it has been so healing to have an outlet to start conversations we needed as a family to talk about him when we’re feeling sad and remember the happy times.

8. Help with the Preparations – Be careful to not step on toes, but offer to take on any of the tasks that don’t need their direct involvement. Such as creating a program or arranging a musical number or putting together a slideshow or printing our pictures and frames for display. Whatever little tasks you might be able to take over will help tremendously with any planning and preparations need to take place.

9. Donate Financially (when applicable) – For some families, the expense that can coincide with a loss can be very overwhelming. There may be hospital bills or funeral expenses, loss of income from a provider, or new expenses to fill the roll of a caregiver. If finances are a difficulty, donating even a little bit of money to the family can make a big difference.

10. Give the Family Space – Everyone and every family grieves differently. But for the most part, giving the family some space to figure out what their new scenario will look like is the best way to help. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like all of your attention is being placed on well-intentioned guests that want to help. Healing takes time, and for most people that healing is best done with some space or with others who are currently in the grieving process.

The key on how to help a family that is grieving is to take a look at what you personally can do to help. Think to yourself what ways you can serve. Then, be specific with what you would like to do and what times you are able to help when you ask the family. Such as: “I would like to help by picking up your children from school and can help with every after school pick-up for the next 3 weeks. Would you like me to help?” or “We want to bring your family a meal this week, is Tuesday or Wednesday better?” or “I’d love to play a musical number at the services if you would like something played.”

Loving With Food

Dream Dinners is there to help you just act and serve whenever it may be needed without having to second guess what you can do. They started a ShareCrate meal service that lets you quickly, and efficiently send meals to those in need. It’s a care package that gives so much to the family.


Each ShareCrate come with 3 complete home cooked meals with all the prep work taken care of. The family can cook the first meal straight from frozen and then pop the other two meals in the fridge to thaw to cook that week. All of the meals are fully prepared in less than 30 minutes.

You can choose from 2 sizes – a medium option that feeds 2-3 people and a large option that feeds 5-6 people to fit their needs. Then, just enter in their delivery address and the ShareCrate will arrive right to their doorstep. You can even add a personal message to share your sentiments with the family.


ShareCrate is a great solution to help families that are grieving or that may be facing a disease or illness, a new baby, or any other big life events that can be hard to navigate.

We had the opportunity to try a ShareCrate package, and everyone loved the dishes! We paired the Creamy Chicken Florentine Tortellini with a bag of rolls and some asparagus and we had a really filling meal, and even some left! It was a breeze to prepare the meals.


I love the ShareCrate concept and their slogan of Loving With Food because it is really such a meaningful way to show someone you care and want to be there for them, especially if you’re not close by to lend a helping hand.

What other ways have you helped a grieving family? 


Sunday 4th of December 2016

When my Dad died in a logging accident last year with my mom working out of country, we had friends and family who stepped up in huge ways to help us deal with it. In a lot of ways, the outpouring of support helps in the grieving process by showing how special a loved one was and letting you know you aren't alone in it.


Sunday 4th of December 2016

this is a great write up. when my granny passed we were so grateful to all of the things people did. it truly meant a lot.


Saturday 3rd of December 2016

When my mom passed away my husband was out of the country. It was great that I had people who were able to watch my kids so I could get a break from having to be the strong one.


Saturday 3rd of December 2016

It can be hard to know what to do to show your support when someone is grieving. These tips are great to know. Thank you for sharing.

Jocely Brown

Saturday 3rd of December 2016

Wow! Thanks for sharing this. Now i have ideas to make this food.I swear my family would like to eat this!

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