“Call if you need anything.” You may have heard this well-intended offer, but chances are you never called back. Here’s a straightforward way to communicate your needs when grieving.

As you think of something you’d appreciate help with, write it on a list, and post it on the fridge.

Your list might include:

  • watching the kids for a couple hours
  • raking the leaves
  • technical assistance
  • driving carpool
  • setting up auto pay for bills

Whenever something comes to mind, add it to the list. The next time someone asks how they can help, snap a photo of your list, and send it to them via text or email. If you don’t love technology, keep the list close by, so you’ll have ideas for next time someone asks. When friends know specifically what you need, they’re able to reach out and make your life a little less complicated.

One newly widowed friend shared her list with a church group. The following Saturday, ten people showed up at her home to clean gutters, move boxes, and rake her yard. The entire list was knocked out in an afternoon. What a beautiful reminder that she had not been forgotten!

What would go on your list right now?


Excerpted from Grief Survivor, by Beth Marshall.

Learn more about Beth at https://bethgmarshall.com

Read more by Beth on Open to Hope: Writing Mother’s Stories Helps Daughter Handle Loss – Open to Hope

Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall is a freelance journalist, speaker and author of two grief-related books. Grief Survivor, 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing; and A Time to Heal, a grief journal. After losing three close people in her life, Beth felt crushed and overwhelmed by the intense emotions of grief. As she began to write about her "uniquely awesome" family members, Marshall eventually began to smile again- and even laugh. Her hope is to help others discover joy-filled life after loss.

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