Search for help with everyday tasks
Grief can be disruptive to your daily life, making it hard to keep up with personal and household care.
In some cases, hiring outside help to assist with everyday tasks can reduce stress and allow for the necessary time to deal with your grief.
Asking for and receiving help from others is normal and encourage.
You might need help with:
- Pet care
- Pharmacy pickups
- Appointment making
Many people and companies who provide these services are able to step in quickly to give you the time for what’s most important.
If you’re helping a loved one navigate this process and see that they need help, consider volunteering these services or finding a provider for them.
Read More For more information about the grieving process, see the "Better understand grief" section of the guide.
How to ask for help from others
If you need assistance from family or friends during this time, keep your requests clear and simple.
You don’t need to justify why you’re asking for help or “prove” that you need assistance.
Those people who support you will understand and should be happy to help.
Here are some tips for asking for help:
- Be direct - If you need help, make it clear to those who can help you. Don't expect people to pick up on subtle hints or just notice that you need help. If you would like help with a specific task, just ask. Example: “Would you be able to help with childcare on Wednesday afternoons for a few weeks?”
- Be specific - It is easier for people to commit to help you when they know exactly what you need, when you need it, and the expected commitment.
- Listen to people's suggestions - Allow people to offer what they might be able to help with, too. If someone makes a specific offer for assistance, don't reject it just because you hadn't thought of it, consider that offer.
How to ask for help after losing a loved one
The grieving process is different for everyone, and you might not realize that you need emotional or task support until some time after the memorial service.
For personal tasks, ask trusted friends and family members for help. The easy way to ask for their support is by texting or calling.
When you reach out, let them know the specifics of the kind of help you need and any certain days or times you need assistance.
Be direct with what you or the bereaved may need.
For less personal tasks, contact a group of people you trust, like family, friends, or neighbors.
If you need assistance caring for a pet or clearing out your loved one’s home to put things in storage, asking a group of people for help gives you more options and increases your support network.
You can also look for coordinated tasks managed by local community groups, like meal preparation.
Civic organizations, church groups, nonprofits, and other groups can help coordinate many different kinds of tasks.
Pay people an hourly rate or a per-task rate. Regular weekly or monthly services might also be an option. Hire an individual or a company providing the needed service.
If you’re concerned about other people’s grief during this process and how to help, review the task, “Types of resources for helping others.”