By Leader Contributor Mollie Lacher, Owner of Sunny Care Services
When my brother-in-law passed away two years ago, so many people wanted to help us, but we didn’t know where to start or what we needed.
Our funeral director proved to be invaluable because he gave us ideas about what to ask for during the process.
In many ways, this kind of work may be outside of the funeral home’s scope of service, but families often see their funeral director as a trusted confidant during this terrible chapter of their lives.
Here are some ideas for you and your firm to help you go beyond the traditional measures of assisting families with their needs.
Help the family collect memories
You can suggest for your guest to create an email account to gather memories of their lost loved one so that anyone can email their favorite moments, pictures, and videos to one central place. We created an email account to collect memories when my brother-in-law passed away. It was fun to sit around after the services and read about the hilarious things we did together and learn how he impacted so many others.
Show that you care
Set up emails or letters that will be sent to the family on the anniversary of their loved one’s passing. As we all know, the first anniversary of losing a loved one is hard and sending a letter or note on the anniversary can show them that they are not forgotten.
Suggest online services
The costs for end-of-life services can quickly start to add up, especially if the deceased did not have life insurance or any assets to give to the family.
Crowdfunding is an easy way for them to raise money to help offset some of those expenses in a non-intrusive way. The family can also start an Amazon wish list. This list could contain everything from cleaning supplies to diapers to food – anything they will need to get back on their feet as they begin the grieving process.
Another recommendation you can make is for the family to sign up for a Meal Train account. When families are in the midst of their sadness, they may not be in the mood to cook. A meal train allows friends and family to sign up for specific days and times to bring food by so that the family isn’t inconvenienced with people stopping by at odd hours.
Here are some other practical services you can suggest to a grieving family:
- Cleaning services
- Household repair services, such as Takl
- Hiring babysitters through websites, such as Care.com
- Finding life care advocates like LOLA or Sunny Care Services to complete all the necessary tasks that come with closing out a loved one’s life
Think ahead for support
It’s also helpful to provide families a list of local grief counselors and grief support groups in the area. There are many counselors who can focus on the family’s unique situation, whether they have lost a spouse, a parent, or a child. Providing a list of resources will be helpful for them to use when they are ready. The season of grieving can be so lonely, and I cannot say enough about the importance of speaking with a trained professional. When I lost my father seven years ago, going to a counselor helped me to process my emotions out loud and ultimately move toward a place of healing much faster than if I had made my journey of grief alone.
Want more advice from Mollie on services you can offer for your clients? Visit her website at SunnyCareServices.com.