More than 2.5 million people die in the U.S. every year. This means that within the next year it is not out of the realm of possibility that someone you know or their relative will die. When death happens in your family, grieving becomes personal but even if you have experienced it first hand, knowing exactly what to say or do for a friend or acquaintance when they are grieving can be difficult and even awkward. It has been suggested that it is just that feeling of helplessness that results in many persons doing nothing at all.

However, there are ways that you can help those who are facing this most difficult but inevitable part of life. Here are a few suggestions.


Every culture has specific ways that they memorialize their dead. Funeral or memorial services are the most recognizable way to accomplish this. However, you can offer your own way of adding to the memorializing of the loved one by planting a tree or hosting a remembrance gathering. This of course will depend on how close you are to those who are grieving and how prepared they may be in their grieving process to accept such contributions.

You may also consider getting an item engraved with a personal thought for those who are grieving. This can be anything from a clock, bible, key chain, or for the tech savvy, a phone case or tablet. This should reflect the personality of the deceased and be specific to the griever. An engraved piece can cost anywhere from 7 1/2 cents to 50 cents per letter with a set fee for each engraved item plus the cost of the item itself. 

And the gift goes on

Knowing exactly what the grieving person needs is out of your hands so remember to ask. Each person grieves in a different way and they may need different kinds of support at varying times. One suggestion is that you can help to relieve them of the mundane, recurrent tasks that need to be done each day such as walking the dog, filling prescriptions or getting the mail. These may seem small and inconsequential but they provide tangible evidence of your support through a difficult time.

Be aware too that helping with grieving is not just for immediately after the person has died but is especially needed after the initial shock of the loss, through the memorial rites and possibly long after. Click here to investigate more ways to help a grieving friend or family member.