8 Things To Bring Someone, Besides Food, Who Has Lost A Loved One

8 Things To Bring Someone, Besides Food, Who Has Lost A Loved One

I know, it's nice, but maybe they need something else.

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I have had quite a year full of loss and heartache. Unfortunately, this means I have learned quite a lot about grief. Everyone always wants to bring food, something about comfort and not having to cook. When my dad died I had a couple of names for this food. At first, I called it 'Dead Daddy Food', it was crash and ugly and I only used the term twice, it just didn't set right. Then I moved on to calling it 'Widow Food' but that didn't last either, because it upset my mom. Finally, I have decided to call it 'I'm Sorry Food'. My mom does not enjoy this phrase either, but it truly is the truth about the food people bring.

With that being said, there are all kinds of other things people who are grieving need besides food.

1. Paper products

Toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, and even tissues. These things seem very minute, but when you don't want to cook or do the dishes or clean, things that can be thrown away are a life saver.

2. Laundry items

Here's the thing, laundry happens even when you don't want to do anything. So bringing laundry detergent, dryer sheets, laundry baskets and other common laundry items is a GREAT idea. No one is going to want to go to the store so if you have already supplied what they need it makes this minuscule chore easier to do.

3. Trash bags

I know this sounds silly, but when it comes time to sort through the loved ones personal belongings, trash bags are good to put them in.

4. Gift cards

When someone passes you don't want to cook, go anywhere, and you are spending thousands on a funeral. Gift cards are a great sympathy gift because they can go to Walmart when they finally run out of gifts. They can even hit up the closest Taco Bell when they are tired of the honey ham everyone keeps bringing over. Trust me, this one is gold.

5. Cards

Very typical, but they really do let the family know you are there. Especially when you write stories in the cards, it's the worst thing they can receive at the time, but when time has passed they will cherish the cards.

6. Help with small chores

cutting the grass, doing dishes, even folding some laundry. Nothing major, or even to small honestly. The less the family of a deceased loved one has to do the easier their time of grief can be.

7. Water bottles

When someone dies, there are a lot of errands that need to be taken care of, arrangments that need to be made. Water bottles, help keep everyone hydrated and they are easy to dispose of, and they won't have to wash any cups they may dirty.

8. Time alone

Most of all leave them alone. The family will have enough people calling, texting, sending food/gifts and stopping by their home. And while they appreciate it, they also want everyone to leave them alone and are to polite to say so. They want to be in each others presence and grieve together and know they are not alone.

Despite what you feel or lash out and say, these things ring true. Grieving people appreciate what you will do for them, even if it doesn't make this list. The most important thing to remember is, their life is not completely different, don't expect them to be the same.

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the beautiful barefoot boy

The goal isn't to live forever, but to create something that will.

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This morning, I did the same thing I do every single morning when I wake up. Before my feet hit the floor, I say a prayer. I thank God for waking me up, blessing me with such a good life, and pray for any specific thing that is laying on my heart. Lately, I have been praying a lot for the same person many people in my community have been praying for- Matt McGregor. I have prayed for healing, comfort, strength, and many other things to happen in Matt's journey, but I also prayed that God's will be done in his life above all else. Little did I know yet that His will had been done.

I remember Matt from school. Every time I saw him, everyone around him was laughing. And I am not exaggerating. He was one of those special people who can literally make anyone and everyone laugh no matter the situation. He was one of those people that the world needs around to make life more bearable and just down right better.

Death sucks. Cancer sucks. Yes, I am glad that Matt is no longer suffering, but that does not really give me a sense of relief because I know his family and friends are suffering. I think about Matt's sisters, and cannot fathom the pain that they're feeling. I could not imagine life without my brothers, my kids not getting to grow up and hang out with their cool uncles, and telling on each other to our parents when we all come home for Christmas when we're 40. I think about his parents, who are having to do the hardest thing anyone could have to do, say goodbye to their son. I think about his friends, who's lives will never be the same every time they do something that reminds them that he's no longer here to share life with. He was too young, too full of life. The worst death are the ones that can't be explained, and this one of them.

That's the thing about life, you never know when it's going to end and that is what makes it so fragile. Someone you know passes away, and you suddenly start to contemplate whether you are living your life "good" enough. You wish you'd spent more time with the one who passed, hold on a little tighter to the ones who are still here, and make sure you remind them you love them. But to show someone you love them is much more powerful than telling them, and that is exactly how Matt lived his life. His life light was beaming all the time and he was constantly sharing that with everyone around him. That is part of why he was so special.

When someone dies, they leave their own legacy that is different from every single other person on the planet. Your legacy depends on the amount of light that you have shed on others. Looking through Facebook today, it is so obvious that his light touched so many people. Matt's death has reminded me of those that I have and will continue to lose throughout life... there is no better way to say it than death sucks. But even though death sucks, it reminds us to live our life to the fullest, and continue the legacy of those we've lost.

On a side note, I found it interesting that Matt was barefoot all the time, so I googled being barefoot in biblical times. Moses and Joshua was commanded to take off his shoes as he was standing on holy ground, and poor people did not have shoes so they went barefoot. But this is my favorite: priests in Israel went barefoot while ministering. They would take their shoes off before blessing their people. It is evident that Matt blessed so many people's lives in his short time on this Earth. Coincidence that he was known for always being barefoot? I think not.

Let your life light shine brightly like Matt's, and always live life to the fullest.

. . .

In loving memory of Matt McGregor Jr.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." Revelation 14:13

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We're All Just Growing Up

We're all going on our separate paths, but we're growing nonetheless.

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Honestly, its still weird to see everyone I grew up with and went to school with, just going forward in their lives. No, I'm not hating and wanting them to stay stuck. It's nothing like that. It's more amazement than anything else.

When you're a kid, you're always talking about what you want to be when you're an adult. You talk about the life you want to live and the things you want to do and accomplish. So when you're getting closer to the age of adulthood, you get cold feet. At least I do. Just a tiny bit.

It's more so because of where I'm at in my journey and the current path that I'm on. My friends and I may be there beside each other along the way, but that doesn't mean our paths have the same obstacles and ending.

For me, I'm still in college. I'm in the process of doing research and searching for grad schools. I'm looking for schools that have the program I desire and to see if some schools have Ph.D. programs that I can go straight into and earn my Master's along the way.

I have people I graduated with who are in college still, but I don't know their goals post-graduation. I have friends who are working towards their career all while starting their own families (I'm so proud of y'all). I enjoy seeing how everyone has started to come into their own. We are trying to do the best we can with the tools we were given plus what we have to learn on our own.

Also, sometimes I feel left behind when I see that some of my friends are getting married and starting their lives. I just feel as if I'm not where I'm supposed to be and it honestly makes me question myself along with my goals. Like, am I not doing enough? Am I'm just moving to slow or am I on my right path, going the correct speed?

Then I realize that I can't compare my journey with everyone else's. I have my own path that I need to focus on so that I can get to wherever I'm going. I can't live my life if I'm constantly worried about whether or not I need to do the same thing as my other friends. I'll get there in my own terms and time.

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