Today’s world is spread out, as it is far more common that we will live in a separate city from our children, family and friends. Phone calls, occasional visits and social media make it easier for us to stay connected to our community of people, but what happens when there is a death or illness that requires a more meaningful connection? With the absence of your physical presence, what tangible things can you do to ensure that you are being supportive of a loved one or friend?
For starters, it is really important to know that you can absolutely be there for someone you care about when they are going through a difficult time, even in your absence.
- Relinquish the feeling of being paralyzed by your physical distance and shift your focus to the positive. Spend time thinking about what you can do and what is possible in this situation, rather than what is not possible.
- When someone has passed away, find a local restaurant that delivers and send the family a shiva meal. You can use Caring Organizer’s local directory at www.caringorganizer.com. Or, send a meal to the family once the shiva is over. That can be just as meaningful for a grieving family.
- Send a donation in memory of the person who passed away. Look up the obituary either on the funeral home website or local newspaper online. If you don’t have that information and don’t want to ask the grieving person, simply Google search the name of the person who passed away and their city, and typically the search will serve up those details.
- Send a condolence message. Email, text or private messaging through social media are immediate ways to communicate. But follow up with a physical letter that is more meaningful and creates a personal connection. Let them know you are thinking of them and share a memory you have.
- When someone is ill or is recovering from a surgery, you can send them a catered meal. That is one less thing they need to think about for their family and will help them out so much. You can find local places to order from in the Caring Organizer local directory or simply search online for another place that delivers to their area. Think of their favorite foods, something you know they will like.
- You can also send them a gift card to a local restaurant.
- Send flowers. If they have a particular favorite flower or color, incorporate that. Being personal is the key here rather than being generic. They will know that you are thinking specifically of them and have them on your mind.
- Send them a gift card for an online retailer such as amazon.com so they can order what they wish, such as a book or music. Or send them a selection of books that you feel will be meaningful during this time. You can also send them a selection of your favorite books that have gotten you through difficult times.
Always remember that showing your support will mean so much to the recipient, especially when it’s coming from someone unexpected and you have put in the extra effort from afar. It’s just that little bit extra special.
By Elisa Udaskin
Elisa Udaskin is the founder & CEO of Caring Organizer, LLC. Their free website, www.caringorganizer.com, has online tools to organize shiva meals and meals for someone who is ill along with helpful tips for showing support. Elisa can be reached at [email protected]