Heartbreaking doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of the survivors of a wrongful death victim. In one moment, lives are changed forever, with no warning. Nothing could be more devastating. It’s difficult to know how family members would like to be helped and asking them what they need is not necessarily appropriate during this time of loss. Here are a few suggestions on ways to help, while also being respectful of emotions.
PROVIDE A LISTENING EAR
This is definitely not a time for platitudes or the usual comments people provide when a death occurs. There is nothing about a wrongful death that makes sense. Letting the family members of the deceased know you are willing to just sit with them and listen is a big gift. There are so many emotions to be dealt with. Having a good friend who is willing to quietly sit through the roller coaster of grief, anger, guilt, despair, sorrow and more is important. Being able to offer a shoulder to cry on and compassion is a comfort during this time.
OFFER A HELPING HAND
Life can seem like it’s up against a huge black wall for family members of a wrongful death victim. The shock can be paralyzing. There will be people coming to the family to offer condolences and sit with them as they grieve their loss. Bringing food, snacks, and meals will be helpful; however, realize the family may be inundated with like-minded people, which can result in an over-abundance, with no place to put it all. Help with packaging dishes for the freezer, to be used later, may be appreciated.
If kids are involved, offering them a change of scenery may be helpful, especially if they are young. It’s good for the kids to get away for a bit, and it frees up the adults to tend to things – even if it’s their own emotions, enabling them to let loose.
WRONGFUL DEATH LEAVES A WAKE OF DEVASTATION
This loss is unexpected and leaves a seemingly endless sea of despair for family members. Many friends will fall by the wayside because they don’t know what to say or what to do. The greatest gift you can offer is to be there for the long haul. When weeks and months go by, if you’re still there, still providing respite, a listening ear, and a caring heart, you are doing far more than most and much that is needed to help the healing process.
At Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., we are caring lawyers, specializing in personal injury law. As residents of the southwest Florida area, we care about our fellow community members. Unlike mill law firms, we are invested in our community and provide legal representation with your best interests at heart. Contact us at one of our offices, located in Englewood, Port Charlotte or North Port, if you have a personal injury or wrongful death case.