Forums de discussion

What can I do? 
Créé par KathCull_admin
05 sept. 2015, 14 h 42

What practical things can family and friends do to help when you are grieving? 

It’s hard for others to know what to say or how to help someone who is grieving. We don’t want to say the wrong thing and we don’t want to intrude. We want to be sensitive and help – but would they really like another casserole?  Should we call or will we be interrupting? We say, 'Just ask if you need anything?'... but they never ask 

Some things people have said are helpful: 

  • offer to bring a meal on a certain day
  • use dishes they won’t have to remember to return
  • phone just to say hi - don't be afraid to leave a message and don't expect a call back right away
  • talk about memories you have of the person who died

What would help you? What would you add to the list?  



05 sept. 2015, 21 h 43

Such good questions Katherine. I see people in my Mom's community struggle and excel at this. When my Dad died there were so many offers of help, but we were in a fog. We didn't know what help we might need. And yes, that phrase "just let us know if you need anything." We rarely cash those in. It's hard to ask.

She (and by extension me) was grateful for those people who just saw what would be helpful and did it. Some of those things are:

- shovelling the driveway or mowing the lawn (depending on the season)
- coming for a visit with a toolkit to do little repairs
- inviting her out for dinner or to an event
- leaving messages and sending emails

Oddly enough, a neighbour is now a 24/7 caregiver and my mom finds herself struggling; not knowing how to help. Afraid to phone and wake or disturb them, and all the other hesitations of what to do. In the end, she dropped a card in the mailbox offering to provide respite care. Now she sits with him regularly so his wife can go to church and do shopping or whatever she wants to do.

Crazy how sometimes even having been there leaves us at odds.
05 sept. 2015, 22 h 13

I was just reminded of this incredibly insightful thread on Virtual Hospice

How to accompany someone who is grieving? 

Réponse de Joy16164
30 mai 2016, 15 h 42

My sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in January.  She has two young children (3 and 5) and lives in Edmonton.  I live in Toronto. If she lived closer I would cook and clean for her, take care of her children, take her to drs appointments and do whatever was helpful for her.  I felt awful being too far away to do any of those things. I looked on-line for ideas on what I could do, but did not come up with a lot of answers.  I decided to create a website that her friends and family could use to help her. She has been overwhelmingly appreciative of it! People have been sending her cleaning help, gift cards for her acupuncture appointments, fruit baskets, etc.  She has felt an outpouring of love and assistance. She said that she originally felt so awful when people would ask how they could help, because she did not have the energy to think about what she needed or to organize everyone who offered. Now she finds it so easy to just refer them to my website. 


Ami appreciated my website so much that I am telling everyone and anyone about it, hoping that it can help as many people with cancer get the support that they need from their friends and family. 

I hope that my website can help you as much as it helped Ami.

Thanks, Joy

Réponse de Carlyn
30 mai 2016, 17 h 27

Dear Joy,

Welcome and thank you so much for sharing the website you created. It's fantastic. Your sister in law is very blessed to have you in her life.

I'm going to share your website too. That's such a huge issue...having energy and ability to think of what help we need, when, who to ask, and then work up the nerve to ask, on top of managing a serious diagnosis of cancer. (I have a chronic illness, not cancer, but similar problems with this matter)

Thank you again for creating it and sharing it here. A brain in a website is a huge help! My best to you and your sister and in law and all of your family. 

Réponse de Joy16164
30 mai 2016, 17 h 53

Hi Carlyn, 

Thank you so much for your kind words and for offering to share my site. I hope it can help people through their difficult journeys. 

Have a great day!

Thanks, Joy 

Nos partenaires

Découvrez ce que les Canadiens veulent savoir

Consulter un professionnel
Consulter un professionnel

Notre équipe d’experts est là pour répondre à vos questions à propos des maladies potentiellement mortelles et de la perte d’un proche.

Simplement envie de parler?
Simplement envie de parler?

Participez aux forums
de discussion.

Livres, liens et bien plus
Livres, liens et bien plus

Recommandations de notre

Programmes et services
Programmes et services

Services offerts aux échelons
local, régional et national