Over the past week, three of my friends died suddenly. One had an aneurysm and two heart attacks. They were my age. Another friend lost her ten-year old niece, who collapsed while playing flashlight tag in the backyard.
My heart aches. That’s too much loss crammed together.
While some families head off on their summer vacations, these families are coming together to celebrate lives cut short.
Many people pull away from those who have suffered a sudden loss, unsure of how to offer meaningful support. According to Sudden Bereavement, here are practical ways to offer loving assistance for those experiencing the shock of sudden loss:
- Cover basic needs: grocery shop, pet sit, babysit, clean the house, pay bills, provide meals (Sign-up Genius is a great way to organize a community).
- Accompany them to appointments: because shock is present, having a second set of ears to listen to details is crucial at the funeral home, doctor’s appointments, and other appointments.
- Be present: Platitudes don’t help, but just being there does. Listen, hug, mourn together, and laugh.
Loss always reminds me that all we have is the present moment. Hug your loved ones. Tell them how precious they are to you. Every day. Don’t withhold affection. Let go of petty arguments. Stay present.