Frazer Blog

5 thoughtful ways to help families in year one of grief

by | Aug 11, 2016 | For Families

Two clasped hands of someone leaning on a railing

The first year is the hardest for families who have experienced a great loss.

The first Christmas without mom, what would have been their sister’s 50th birthday, a wedding anniversary that never came. The first year is when the family begins to truly experience life without their loved one, which is why it is arguably the most difficult year to get through.

But as experts in the field of loss and grief, funeral directors can play a huge role in lessening the burden that families face during this difficult time. Showing that you care can go a very long way when it comes to your funeral home’s reputation.

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising. By going above and beyond for your families, you can be sure that those recommendations are positive.

Write a Note

This is one of the most simple and cost-effective ways to show a family that you’re thinking about them in their time of grief. Write a handwritten note during the holidays or on a date that’s important to the family and just let them know that you are thinking of them. Maybe share some advice that you have about getting through the grief.

Deliver a Meal

This might seem odd, but it’s an incredibly thoughtful gesture. Families who are struggling with grief can find difficulty in some of the simplest tasks, such as cooking. This can be especially true during the holidays.

Have a meal service come to their house to deliver them a meal on a special occasion, or consider hosting several of your families at a banquet during the holiday season. This might also provide an opportunity for families to meet others who are experiencing the same grief.

Give Them a Ride

Offer to give your family a ride to their loved one’s grave on days that meant something to them, like a birthday or anniversary. You can stay in the car to give them privacy, or even offer to walk with them if they need support. Consider also thinking of small details, like keeping a box of tissues in the car.

Send Them a Gift

Consider sending them a small gift, like a keepsake photo book of their loved one or a remembrance candle. It doesn’t have to be a large, expensive gift — just a small token that lets them know that you care and that their loved one is still with them in spirit.

Let Them Relax

Consider buying them a small gift card to a spa, a masseuse, a counselor, etc. So many people forget to care for themselves when they are grieving — let them know it’s okay to be pampered every once in a while. To save money, you could even consider hiring a masseuse for your funeral home for a day and inviting your families to make an appointment to come in.

Some of these ideas might mean an investment on your end, and how much you do or do not spend is entirely up to you. But when 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising, it might be an investment worth making.


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