How to offer support
Support offer = (what you can do) + (when)+ (is that ok?)
Offer only what you feel comfortable offering
“Let me know if you need anything” is how we often attempt to offer support. A grieving person may not have much capacity to consider what they need. Instead of putting the responsibility on them, think about what you can provide that you will be able to follow through on.
Let them decide
It's best to offer specific options. It can be as simple as:
“Here are some things I would like to offer you, which one sounds good to you right now?”
“Here are some ways I know how to be helpful, do any of those sound good to you right now?”
“I’ve arranged for a lawn care service to come once a month, so if that’s alright, which day is best for you?”
“I’m available to have your kids over to play on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, would that be helpful for you?”
What if they say no?
If they turn you down, that’s OK. Try not to take it personally. Let them know you aren't going anywhere and will try again. It can be as simple as:
- “OK, I'm going to check back in with you next week.” (Then set a Nudge reminder to do it!)
What if they never say yes?
If you have asked several times and they keep refusing, that’s OK, too. Establish that you’re not going to disappear. You can also ask if you should keep asking. Keep it simple:
- “The last several times I have asked if you could use kid care, you have declined. Do you want me to keep asking?”
- Be flexible
- Be specific
- Be humble
- Be consistent