What to: Send Someone That First Week

I found out today that a friend's daughter just died, very unexpectedly and tragically. As someone who spends a great deal of time thinking about and writing about and processing grief, you would think I would know how to react, but as it turns out, I still didn't really know what to do or say, either.

There are no words that can help, no gifts that can soothe such a deep loss - and I know this. But even so, it's not really what you give or say that matters, but that you do give - time, energy, condolences - and that you do say, something. And if you need a little help, here are are few of my suggestions to get you started. 


No Good Card for This

From Emily McDowell Studio

When there is no good thing to say... maybe that's all you need to say. This simple card is blank on the inside for your own words, and is a favorite of mine for being not only perfect in its brevity and message, but also printed in Los Angeles using environmentally friendly soy inks. 


Succulents in Reclaimed Wood Planter

From Harry & David

I'm a big fan of living plants, especially when in mourning; I don't want more death in my home. I also have a notoriously black thumb and appreciate hearty flora, so in lieu of flowers I recommend succulents. This easy gift is the perfect item for someone who needs a little low maintenance life in their life, and I especially like that this rustic planter because it's made of reclaimed wood filled with a variety of succulents, all of which need very little water or care. When deeply grieving, the last thing you want to worry about is regular watering. 


Meal Delivery

From 22 Day Nutrition

It's equally likely you'll want to overeat or under-eat in those early stages of grief (I'm guilty of both), so this healthy vegan meal delivery service is the perfect way to send nutritious and still delicious pre-made meals. With weekly and a la carte options, plus being organic and allergen friendly, it's simple way to ensure that someone can nurture their body during one of their most emotionally difficult times.  



Grieving: A Beginner's Guide

by Jerusha Hull McCormack

Written from the perspective of a young widow, this broad guide to grief offers an honest, hopeful, and supportive place to start for the freshly grieving. 

"We are all amateurs at grief; it comes to us all; we must all go through it. To treat grief as a problem to be fixed, or (worse still) to medicalize it, is to rob us of the extraordinary privilege of encountering this experience on our terms: for each of us has our own way of grieving, and each of us has something special to learn from the process."

And lastly....

I adore this 3:36 audio commentary about the eternal nature of energy.

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world.