Monday, August 4, 2008

Nice Things To Do When Someone Dies

The night before the viewing, I did a pretty extensive internet search for some unique and tactful ideas of things you can do for someone when a person they care about has died.

I came up with nothing. Not a thing!

And feeling that flowers weren't personal enough for a close family member, I didn't do that although on retrospect, it would have been nice anyway.

But while I was hanging around that day before the viewing I was able to see some really nice things that were done for Brandon's wife and I wanted to list them out so that if you are ever in this position, you have a few ideas for extra-special things that you can do/bring. Most of these things were done for Brandon's wife and the family.

1. Create a funeral survival kit in a cutely decorated can. Put in kleenex, mints, aspirin, bottle of water, gel shoe inserts (for lots of standing), candy bar/granola bar, etc.

2. Get hold of pictures of the deceased w/family and doing things he/she loved and make a photobook for the family of special times.

3. Volunteer to take several existing pictures of the deceased and prepare them with mats and frames in time to display them at the viewing and funeral.

4. Create trust or college funds for the children and deposit as much as you feel appropriate into the account(s). Then, get the word out that the funds exist encouraging others to deposit as well.

5. Use the saying, "When Someone You Love Is In Heaven, You Feel Heaven In Your Home." Create vinyl lettering and put it on a large 12"x12" tile and provide a stand for it to sit on for the viewing. You can also adhere these vinyl letters to the glass in a picture frame with a picture of the deceased. (This was one of my favorite ideas and turns out so beautiful!)

6. One of my sisters-in-law wrote a little poem that I have had made into vinyl lettering to be adhered to a small metal sign with ribbon to hang on the front door. (I'll post a picture when it's complete) It says, "

We appreciate your help so much; the cards the gifts the food and such;
Our home is blessed with your presence here; to show how much you really care;
But a moment alone is what we crave; please call again another day!

7. Don't forget about food! It does get eaten! We found that nearly any type of food was helpful and very appreciated because there were so many people at the home for many days. Other things you can bring are paper plates, napkins, plastic silverware and cups. Bring a large cooler full of ice and different types of drinks. This was great!

I hope you've found some ideas you can use. Just remember that whatever you do it will be appreciated.

14 backward glances:

Aislinn said...

Excellent list! Being in the position that I'm in - as far as church goes - I think that these things would be helpful in a mini activity. There are so many people that we'll all come in contact with - either through family or church - that these things would be handy for. Thanks for the great thoughts and wonderful ideas!

Christy said...

Thanks for this post, Amy. It is very helpful because it addresses one of those difficult areas. You want to do something but don't know what to do necessarily. There are some great ideas listed here, thanks for sharing.

Tiffany said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Amy! It couldn't have come at a better time...a family friend is about to lose his wife, and I've been at a loss as to what to do. I remember things being done when my dad died, but can I think of specifics??? Seriously, thank you.

Amy said...

Like I said, they weren't my ideas but I'm glad someone will find them useful!

Heidi Sue said...

Thank you for those great Ideas. I wish I would have had them when I taught my lesson last month, they would have been perfect.

The Undertaker said...

Hello -

great information, I really like the funeral survival kit. The day of the funeral is usually chaos and the little things are often forgotten.

thank you for sharing!

Carly said...

Amy, thanks for sharing! I remember some of the same things being done for my family when my brother died and even other small things. I think people think they are small simple things but really they make a HUGE difference.

Mikki said...

That's a great list. Very helpful, because it seems I just never know what to do or offer to someone in those circumstances.

monaco said...

Thanks for these. But I do hope I won't have to use them anytime soon.

Rachel said...

You're a good friend and so very thoughtful. Take good care of the family and let the emotions be what they may, grief will take on many faces in the coming days...

Melissa said...

This post is likely to help many people. It is so hard to know what do for the family of someone who has died and the ideas you wrote down are such wonderful ideas.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

your post needs to be emailed,forwarded, posted on the refrigerator, (ok maybe not) and kept available.

You came up with such a thoughtful and comprehensive list!

Anonymous said...

don't forget about pets (who need to be fed, walked and cared for) and for children or grandchildren,have games and things for them to do in additon have food appropriate for them

before death, please remember to ask your family for passwords to the computer

Anonymous said...

Don't forget general items as toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, paper plates, plastic forks spoons, cases of water, tea, sodas, etc. With the increased house traffic with people coming and going it is helpful for the family to have the most used things to keep them from having to go to the grocery store. Also setting up a book to send thank you notes for things brought and to arrange meals for the family. Found these things helpful after watching my neighbor after the lose of her son.