1. Instead of asking if you can bring a meal, ask what day would work best for you to bring dinner. And then do it. It doesn’t have to be homemade.
2. If someone is facing a prolonged period and they will need support for some time, ask if you can bring a rotisserie chicken and a vegetable every Tuesday (or whatever day is convenient for you and the recipient). This serves two purposes; sustenance and a semblance of routine in an unstable period.
3. Check in regularly with whatever vehicle works; telephone, text, or email. The intent is to communicate that you are thinking of them and checking in.
4. If you are running errands, call to see if you can run an errand for them as well. One less errand can ease an already stressful day.
5. Do consider indulging in small kindnesses by way of a handling a chore or a providing a treat. Just knowing that someone is thinking about you can brighten a tough day.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, available in ebooks for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons / lusi