50 answers

What to Do When Someone Dies

I have a friend who lost her father today. She lives out of state so the things I would usually want to do like offer meals and my presence/support/etc. won't really do. I thought of sending flowers and a card but is that just so generic? I have never lost anyone really close like that so I am at a loss. Any ideas? If you've lost someone close, what helped you through it?

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I recently lost my mother in law, my out of state friends sent a variety of things, flowers, plants, and an angels. My favorite are the angels. They was one for my garden which the kids like as they can go in my flower garden know that Grandma is thinking of them. The other angels are in the forms of knick-knacks for inside which is great also...
And the best thing of all i received was the love they sent via emails, cards, phone calls, flowers, plants, etc.. it didn't matter to me what i got from whom, it was just that they were thinking of me and my family...

1 mom found this helpful

My father passed about a year and a half ago and I really enjoyed a nice potted plant I received from a friend. I still have it and everyday I see it I'm reminded of my dad.

I lost my Gram last year. We were VERY close. I would've really liked a handwritten letter from a friend. Please, do NOT use the old lines 'it will get better with time', 'he's in a better place', 'now he can be with his family that has already passed'. None of that is helpful at all. When you lose someone, you just want them back. Let her know that you are there to listen, then follow-up with a phone call and do just that. I would have loved to have had that.

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Having lost both of my parents, I can tell you that I treasured every card and note I received. Knowing people cared about me at that time helped me alot. Stay in touch with your friend, even if you think you don't know what to say or worry that you won't say the right thing, she'll appreciate that you care enough to stay in contact, because its not what you say that matters, what matters is that you are there for her.

1 mom found this helpful

hello A.. I am so very sorry for your friend's loss. As someone who has lost a number of close relatives in the past 5 years, I would say that the best thing for you to do is whatever your heart feels led to do! Don't think of anything as menial or not good enough. Your friend knows that you can't physically be there so any gesture is going to assure her that you are thinking of her and that's what she needs right now. I don't anyone's faith background but maybe you could send her a care package that is based on whatever her beliefs are. Whatever sacred writings, or symbols that she can relate to. You can even just send a personal letter from your heart. People don't need big gestures, it's the little things that help get them through these times. And also remember that she is going to need uplifting for several months to come to don't forget to stretch out those gestures. Some people think that everything can be done over a week or month and that person and the family is going to be grieving for much longer than that. I hope I have been able to give you some insight and if you have any more questions, please reply back to me. Take care and good luck!
S.:-)

1 mom found this helpful

My best friend from childhood was a great help to me when my father passed away last year. While she lived a few hours from me, she was able to come to the funeral and was just there with a packet of tissues to talk me through the visitation and funeral. After the funeral, she sent me a small gift (pair of cute fun earrings) to cheer me up, then, a few weeks later a book arrived. They were little surprises that made me feel great knowing someone was still out there thinking of me even if she couldn't actually be here.

So maybe you could send her a little care package of tissues, your favorite chocolate chip cookies, some flavored tea or coffee, uplifting books etc... to keep her spirits up. My friend sent me cards too - lots of them throughout the rest of the year - on what would have been my dad's birthday, at Christmas, just anytime she thought I might need a little cheering up... and the cards always came at the perfect time!

So don't discount the card idea throughout the year - it's not just difficult to get through the first few weeks, the whole first year and beyond is difficult! It's nice knowing someone is still thinking of your pain.

Hope these are some ideas you'll use - your friend needs to know you are there for her even if you can't be there in person.

1 mom found this helpful

I recently lost my mother in law, my out of state friends sent a variety of things, flowers, plants, and an angels. My favorite are the angels. They was one for my garden which the kids like as they can go in my flower garden know that Grandma is thinking of them. The other angels are in the forms of knick-knacks for inside which is great also...
And the best thing of all i received was the love they sent via emails, cards, phone calls, flowers, plants, etc.. it didn't matter to me what i got from whom, it was just that they were thinking of me and my family...

1 mom found this helpful

One thing my family really used and appreciated when my father died recently was a couple of "fruit" flower bouquets we got from friends. They were great healthy snacking when we really didn't feel like eating much and great for the kids to snack on rather than sweets. I know I will send them in the future to friends I can't be with or make a meal for because they live far away. They are even pretty to look at when you are feeling sad. Hope that helps

1 mom found this helpful

I also live out of state, away from close friends and family. One thing that I tend to do is send a plant, or order some perennials through the mail for them(the perennial one is dependent upon the season). This way, the person receiving the plant, etc. knows that it is in honor of their loved one, a rememberance that will always last. And since a plant of perennial lasts for a long time, they know that even though there is a long distance between us, they are in my thoughts. I have gotten alot of positive comments from people that have received this from me.

I was at a funeral recently and saw garden stones delivered--they were beautiful! I thought that was a wonderful idea and something they can have forever!

Sorry to hear of your friend's loss.

I lost my dad last year, and I will tell you I was never one to send cards prior to this. I thought they really had no meaning, boy was I wrong. I will never forget the cards I received from cousins, and sorority sisters with thier favorite memories of my dad. They are the ones I saved, the letters I still look at, and even found a special spot in a family scrapbook for some of them. Everyone deals with loss differnt, me I knew it was coming and I read and read on how to prepare my then 3 year old to understand, and it ended up helping me prepare myself better then one could expect. I highly recomend if you have a memory of her father you share it with her, it will mean so much to her that you actually rememberd the person so special to her. Also for something special to send, if she owns her home/land then contact a local nursery and get a gift card. Send that over to her with a note that when the time is right to plant something special in memory of her Dad. This is something my neighbors did for me, and it truly means a ton. My daughter calls it papa's bush, and she knows she has to behave herself when she is in the yard because she is playing near Papa's bush. You could also send it with a book from borders on dealing with loss, especially if she has children because they grieve much differntly. They get nervous that this can happen then to thier parents, and even now if one of us has to go out of town our daughter will ask are you coming back or are you going to see papa. It has been a year and she was so young, but she still remembers. I hope this helps.

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