You might be asking why I chose grief and postpartum (bringing home baby) in the same post. Because for me, they were one in the same and I’m guessing I’m not alone.
And it was in this season that I learnt to accept help (reluctantly) but gracefully from the people I loved most. While difficult for me to embrace my weakness, I see now that it was my vulnerability and willingness to let others carry me, that make both my heart and theirs feel whole, connected and loved.
So if you know someone who may be grieving or perhaps has just arrived home with baby, here are a few ways to show them you care, courtesy of those who loved me well in my own season.
12 ways to help women in grief or after bringing home baby
1. Deliver their favourite treat
2. Take the dog out to go pee or for a walk
3. Have someone else answer the door
If you’re planning to drop things off, make arrangements for someone else to collect the goods. Better yet, leave them on the porch, giving them a heads up once it’s done and you’ve departed.
4. Pick up and Drop off the laundry
5. Grocery shop but ask someone else for a list
6. Send encouraging texts and scripture – let them know you’re praying for them
When you’re knee deep in fear and isolated at home, you can easily slip into despair, doubt and hopelessness. Reach out with a word of encouragement, perhaps from your own encouragement. Let them know they’re not alone and you’ve got them in your thoughts.
7. Make your visit a work party
8. Deliver meals – freezer meals
9. Share your experience so they know they’re not alone
10. Give them permission to just be and not acknowledge you or your efforts
There will come a day when they will, but right now, their life feels all consuming. You can bet your bottom dollar you’re making a difference, they may just not know how much until later!
11. Take the kids so they can enjoy a leisurely bath or shower
12. Commit to short and sweet
After publishing this post, I listened to an amazing podcast on God Centred Mom, where a woman battling stage 4 cancer shared ways people have blessed her socks off. A few things she suggested that I thought were worth adding:
13. Give her a foot rub
Or a back rub or whatever else might feel amazing!
14. Offer up whatever you’re good at and enjoy
Like decorating? Offer to set up their christmas tree or wrap gifts. Good at graphics? Design birthday or holiday cards. Perhaps write in them or address the envelopes and mail them for her. Like to organize? Tackle a project in the house for spring cleaning. Sell somethings on craigslist. Deliver parcels to the post office. No thing is too small!
15. Be specific – include your plans
It’s way easier to accept help when people are specific. “Hey, I’m going to target. Need anything?” streamlines the thought process much easier than, “I’m running errands. Can I pick something up for you?” Knowing you’re already heading there can make her feel less like an inconvenience.
16. If you offer, be prepared to help.
If you say no once, she’ll likely never ask you for help again because let’s face it, we all hate rejection. It takes courage to ask for help! So, if you reach out and offer to help, be prepared to make it work. If your schedule is not so flexible, or your uncomfortable with something they may ask, then be specific with what you’d like to help with.
And finally, remember…
Being there for people and helping sometimes requires sacrifice on our end. It’s not always convenient and flexible with our schedules.