Helping With The Traditions Of Saying Goodbye: Extending Kindnesses After A Death

The pain can seem unbearable the first time you lose someone that you love. The good news is that the pain does get easier with time, but the first few days can be extremely difficult. They are also days that will be filled with decisions and the traditions of modern death in the United States. If you know someone who has just experienced a death and now must face the traditions of saying goodbye, step up and help them every step of the way. Here are some ways to be helpful at the different stages of the goodbye process.

The Viewing

The viewing is often referred to as a visitation. This is where the embalmed body of the deceased person is typically displayed in their coffin. Since the immediate family members will likely be receiving visitors throughout the viewing, they may be overwhelmed. Offer to help guide people to and from them, so they are not caught listening to the opinion of one relative for an hour when others are clamoring for their attention. You may also check in on them to see if they need water or anything else throughout the viewing. 

Funeral or Cremation Service

A funeral or cremation service will be the biggest event after the death of a loved one. It is the memorial service where you can celebrate the life of your deceased loved one. You may offer to help with a great number of things at a funeral. You could help them put together the funeral program, offer to coordinate the music, give people rides as needed, help people to their seats, or even speak at the service on behalf of the family. Offer to do what you think the person may need. Take your cues from how they react to decide how to further offer to help.

The New Normal

After a death, the mourners have to adjust to a brand new "normal" for their lives. They will be forever changed. Be sure to let your loved one know the ways that you can be there for them after the burial as they adjust to the new "normal". You may follow up with offers to watch their kids on specific days so they can get some alone time to grieve or simply get away for a spa day. Whatever it is that you feel comfortable doing, offer that, and you may find that you grow closer than ever to your loved one.

Finally, keep in mind that the traditions that surround death can feel odd and perplexing at the time. Reaching out to your loved one throughout every step of the traditions of death can make a huge difference. Showing kindness and support at this difficult time is likely something they will always remember. Reach out to a funeral home like Foster-Warne Funeral Home to learn more.