The period after the funeral of a loved one has taken place, is often the time when the real grieving begins. For some, the period immediately after a funeral can be more difficult than the funeral itself.
As loved ones, family and colleagues return home and settle back into a routine a sense of loneliness and isolation can set in.
The sense of loss and grieving is a natural process but loved ones, friends, neighbours, and colleagues can play an important role in providing comfort and support at this time.
If you were not able to attend a funeral a letter of condolence explaining why you were unable to attend, offering support and perhaps a shared memory or two will normally be well received.
It’s important to reach out to someone when they are grieving as its all too easy to ignore a friend or family member when a loved one has died, thinking that others will be caring for them or that they would prefer privacy.
Some people prefer to be alone during a period of grieving. This can be difficult if you feel you want to help them, but you should respect their feelings. If you are concerned about the physical or mental wellbeing of someone who is grieving alone, you should talk to a close member of their family or social services.
The support you provide should be proportionate to how well you know someone – in the case of a close family member you will probably want to spend extended periods with them, but for a workmate or neighbour a 45-minute visit may be more appropriate.
If you are supporting someone you regularly spend time with, establishing new routines and traditions will help them to start building a new life and provide social interaction which does not always remind them of their loss.
You should not be afraid to mention someone who has died, as not doing so gives the impression that they have been forgotten or did not matter. Remembering important dates like a loved one’s birthday can also be a great comfort and a mark of respect for their life.
SAIF Care is a service offered by funeral homes that are members of The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).
SAIF Care provides a range of services to bereaved people, over the age of 18.
If you think a loved one could benefit from SAIF Care or for more information, please visit our dedicated SAIF Care page.