A recent meeting with a client reminded me of the enormous support our family received after Ben passed away. There was so much food and some amazingly thoughtful gifts like a scrapbook of when my son was young and played with a friend’s son routinely. All the times they shared together in a small photo album with the dates and activities written out. Or the beautiful Oak tree that has now grown so mature and strong. Kind of like my grief. And an infinity cross statue, made from stone, that makes a beautiful statement in our backyard. There are lots of ways to help a grieving family and certainly food is one of the most popular. One suggestion would be to set up a food team and take turns cooking and bringing over food so they aren’t out of refrigerator space in the first few days and foraging for food two weeks after the loss.
Here is a link to some other ideas: https://www.gifts.com/blog/what-do-you-give-someone-who-lost-a-loved-one
So, a word of caution about delivering anything to a grieving family. They may not want to see you. That’s right. In fact, in most cases, people are in such a bad place and dealing with so much that they are either too sad or too tired to consider a visit. It’s not personal. They just don’t have the energy and their mind is filled with this thing called “brain fog.” They are doing all they can to get out of bed and make it to the kitchen for a glass of water or a small bite to eat.
My advice is to leave whatever gift you have at the front door, with a note, and let them know with a text message. If you have to call, then make it very brief. For example, “I’m coming over with a casserole tomorrow night. Is there a good time for me to leave it at your front door? I don’t want to interrupt you and your family. I just want to drop off the food and go.” This way they don’t feel bad about how they are looking and feeling. And they will know that food is coming and what time to expect it.
If the loss involves a spouse and you are taking something over to a widow or widower, they may actually want the company. But it has to be a heartfelt invitation. Let them ask you to come over and sit with them. And then, do just that. Listen. Hug them if appropriate. And please don’t tell them you need to get them out to “cheer them up.” I have heard this one too many times. It will take months to years for them to feel better in some cases. Each person’s grief journey is very different and based on the relationship they had with the deceased.