Vaccination remains the strongest defense against COVID-19. Even as numbers in our community drop, it's important to remain vigilant. For more information about where you can schedule a vaccine, be tested for COVID-19 or learn more about the virus, visit https://www.bjc.org/coronavirus

COVID-19 Information
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Go
The health library is currently experiencing some technical difficulties. We are working to resolve the issues now and apologize for the inconvenience.

Providing Support for the Bereaved

There are many things you can do to help a bereaved person. These include:

  • Sending cards or flowers

  • Preparing food

  • Providing child care

  • Mowing the lawn

  • Contributing to a cause that is meaningful to the family

  • Offering transportation

Here are some things to think about when giving support:

  • Be available. Sometimes grieving people don't want to talk or listen. And they may not want you to talk or listen. They may just want you to be there for them. Silence is OK if that is what the bereaved person wants at the moment.

  • Allow the grieving person the full range of their emotions. This includes anger and bitterness, which may be sometimes expressed against the healthcare providers, God, or even the loved one who has died.

  • Be patient and understanding, but not patronizing. Don't claim to know how the other person is feeling. Don't force the person to talk or share feelings if they don't want to.

  • It's OK to talk about the person who died. Don't be worried about saying the deceased person's name or sharing a fond memory of the person when you are with the bereaved. They are also thinking about this person. It is acceptable and natural to bring the person's name into conversation.

  • Remember that grieving takes time. It is a natural human process. No matter how much you want to "stop the hurt," bereaved┬ápeople must go through the grieving process. Let them grieve, and care for them as they move through the process.

Sign Up Today for Free e-Newsletters

Get the latest in medical technology, research and disease prevention sent to your inbox.
Find a doctor or make an appointment: 866.867.3627
General Information: 314.747.3000
One Barnes-Jewish Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63110
© Copyright 1997-2022, Barnes-Jewish Hospital. All Rights Reserved.