One Thing People Need In Times of Grief

You. They need you.

During and right after a crisis, we step up. We bring meals. We listen to them talk. We clean their house and watch their kids. We are there for them.

Until we leave.

At a certain point, they are left to move on with their life. We move on with ours. We don’t come by as often or at all. We don’t call. They are supposed to continue as if life didn’t just throw them the biggest curve ball they have ever faced.

Maybe I am wrong here, but this is how I have felt since my Mom died 14 years ago. Everyone rallied around my family while she was sick and then when hospice came, there was more help. It was wonderful to not have to feel like I had to hold myself up. After we lost her, people stuck around. Until they didn’t. And I understand why. I know I have done it to others. People have lives of their own.

The grieving process takes a long time. There are ups and downs that are exhausting to the strongest of us. I know with losing Mom, some days were normal and some days were spent crying on the floor. I didn’t expect friends to do more than they had, and yet I felt alone in my sadness.

My thought is that we should be checking on our grieving family and friends for at least a year. I don’t mean smother them with attention. We shouldn’t constantly ask if they are OK. What I mean is that we should send a text to let them know we are thinking of them. Call them just to chat. Maybe even send a card in the mail to brighten their day. At least once a month, we should let them know we are here for them if they need anything or want to talk.

It’s not that we are letting our friends down, but I think we should focus on lifting them up more. Even if we don’t understand what they are going through, we can be there. We can let them know we will always be there. We want to help our friends and don’t always know how. I didn’t really need help physically, but emotionally I was on overdrive.

God always knows what I need and sent me a new friend who reminded me of Mom. She helped me process things I couldn’t talk about with family I knew well. So, maybe this means being a listening friend to someone we haven’t known long. If we have been put in their life, there is a reason for it.

When someone around us suffers a huge loss, we shouldn’t shrink away. Just because we don’t know what exactly they are going through doesn’t mean we can’t help them. We have all had some form of pain and loss in our lives and remember how it felt. Letting them feel their grief may be what they need.

Grief happens to all of us. Let’s help each other through it, long after we have gone back to our normal lives. If you think you don’t know what to say, you are probably right. Just be there and listen. You are showing love just with your presence.


Linking with Holley Gerth


12 thoughts on “One Thing People Need In Times of Grief

  1. Sarah, You are correct. I also think you have a creative suggestion for continuing to support a grieving family. I love you, Dad

  2. Sarah – Thank you for the reminder people just need people in their time of grief. I sometimes struggle with trying to figure out the right words or the right thing to do when all they need is my presence. Sending a text first thing in the morning. I don’t want to wake her up, or I would send it now.


  3. This is true Sarah….
    I honestly think people don’t intentionally leave grieving hearts. Perhaps they think they will be OK or someone else is there if they are not.
    If everybody thinks someone will be there and don’t show up eventually no one will be there!
    Thank you for showing this aspect of care to us…it is rarely spoken about.
    God bless

  4. So wise, Sarah, especially since you’ve experienced this first hand. I think I’m so many rough reasons of life, people just need someone to be with them. Presence matters. Great encouragement!

  5. Hi Sarah, my neighbor over at Holly Gerth’s link up! This article is such an important reminder of how to continually support those who are hurting and grieving from loss. Thanks for sharing your heart on this matter. I really need this kind of reminder. I so often feel inept about what to do and how to do it. I’m sorry for the loss of your mom (even if it were years ago). I know that God is bringing your through. And I love your dad’s encouragement in his comment!


  6. Sarah,
    Your firsthand experience with grief speaks volumes as you navigate grief with others in your life. It also gives you a special perspective as your path crosses others that God brings into your life. I have a feeling that you speak life and truth and grace to so many just through your own life story and seeing how you navigate the difficult times of your life! xoxo

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