I often get asked, "What should I do to support someone who is going through a hard time?"
It's common to be unsure of how to help, and to be worried about doing the "wrong" thing despite the best intentions. I always say that tangible, everyday actions of support are often useful and meaningful ways to help. There are many different ways of showing up—here are some ideas, adapted from my illustrated book on grief, Welcome to the Grief Club:
- Food: Drop off snacks or meals, pick up groceries, or send gift cards
- Housework: Help do household chores, like laundry or dishes
- Errands: Take things off their to-do list, like picking up necessities from the store or arranging child/pet care
- Logistics + paperwork Help with making any logistical arrangements (e.g. booking travel) or any legal and financial paperwork (or find experts to help, as needed)
- Social interactions: Field incoming calls and messages, and be a buddy at social events
- Companionship: Be around to listen and talk as needed
At the end of the day, just showing up and letting them know that they're not alone is the most important thing you can do; it's better to show up empty-handed than to not show up at all.