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17 Ways To Help Someone Through The First Year Of Widowhood

They need your love to survive such a crushing loss.

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1. Drop Off a Meal


Not having to worry about what to cook, and opening the fridge to find ready-made meals is a godsend. Especially when there are little mouths to feed.

2. Help With the Small Stuff


Whether it’s a trip to the post office, emptying the dishwasher, or changing a lightbulb, offer to do it. Your friend is dealing with so much; helping with the seemingly minor stuff is pretty major.

3. Pack With Care

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Dropping by with a little care package — a handwritten note, a bottle of booze, a healing candle — goes a long way...and lets your friend know that you're thinking of them.

4. Be Their Uber


When their kid(s) need to get to and from soccer practice, a birthday party, or even the school bus, graciously offer a ride. The small ways in which a spouse is missing — like sharing chauffeur duty — hits hard. Extra points for making the car ride fun!

5. Be a Good Listener

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There will be tears. Lots of them. Sometimes, having a friend close by — listening, validating, and supplying tissues — helps take the edge off.

6. Sort Through the Chaos / JackNicholson #Mail #actor / Via

There is usually a ton of paperwork when a loved one dies. Helping your friend sort through medical bills, insurance claims, even day-to-day mail, helps!

7. Kindly Suggest Therapy

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Spending an hour crying, cursing, and screaming is par for the course, but in the hands of a grief specialist or support group, your friend will realize that their feelings are perfectly valid…and that they aren't the only one to experience such a major loss.

8. Share Some Mindless Entertainment

#RHONY#Bethenny Frankel#Bethenny#Real Housewives#Real Housewives of New YorkREBLOG2229 / Via

From reality TV to the trashy mags in the supermarket checkout line, mindless entertainment offers a reprieve from the surreal reality your friend is now living.

9. Happy Holidays!

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It's not just the November/December holidays that can be devastating. Valentine's Day, Father's/Mother's Day, the Fourth of July…they are all soul-crushing. Reach out to your friend, tell them the time and place and not to bring anything but themselves.

10. Don't Hold Back

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Your friend still wants to hear about your mean boss, what you had for dinner last night, and the vacation you have planned. Hearing the details of your life helps them get on with theirs.

11. Get Them Moving

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Show up with your sneakers or a yoga mat, an extra bottle of water, and get moving! Exercise helps curb the overwhelming thoughts and feelings of their day-to-day.

12. Gift Little Luxuries

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Whether it's a massage at the mall or someone polishing their toes, little luxuries can do wonders for a new widow.

13. Be Present

Events around their kids are particularly difficult as they alone make up the cheering section. Offer to join them at that parent-teacher conference, school play, or baseball tournament.

14. Routine’s Rule

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Once the shock wears off, helping your friend get back to their routine helps them get back to living their life. Even if it's just the morning walk around the block with the dog — starting small is a big step!

15. Getting Away


A visit to the nearest outlet mall, a walk on the beach, or simply a ride to the next city over, can do wonders for their weary soul.

16. Support Sometimes Means Space

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Sometimes being there for your friend means giving them some space, and don't take it personally when they ask for it. Some days, checking in via phone or text may be all the support they need.

17. Long Haul


Three months, six months, one year later...grief has a way of sticking around. Let your friend know you're still there, and still care.

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