How to Ask for Help After a Death

After a death, many people want to reach out and help but don’t know how. In order to get the help you need, you may need to ask the people in your life to assist with specific tasks that you need help with. In all likelihood, you’ll find that people will be very receptive to your requests.

Depending on the type of help you need, there are different ways of reaching out. By figuring out the type of help you need you can determine the most effective way to get that help from your friends and family.

Determine the kind of help you need

Based on the nature of your loss and your situation, you may need help with a range of things. Common types of help that people need after a death are:

Personal help, including:

  • Childcare
  • Pet care
  • Help cooking or providing meals
  • Coordinating out-of-town guests

Household help, including:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping

Financial help, including:

Reach out to your network

For certain tasks you may need to reach out to individuals directly, while for other tasks you may be able to ask for help in less personal ways.

For highly personal tasks, such as childcare, you will likely want to be in touch with specific friends or family members directly to ask for assistance. The best way to request this kind of personal help is by calling or texting. Let people know the days and times you need help so that people can be sure to be available when you need them.

For less sensitive personal tasks, you might identify a group of people who you think can help and email them all. For example, if you need someone to walk your dog, you might consider emailing a group of people in your neighborhood. Not only would this kind of help be fairly easy for neighbors, but by emailing everyone at the same time they can potentially coordinate their help among themselves.

For tasks that your entire support network can help with, there are many excellent online resources that can help you ask for and coordinate help. Some sites are dedicated to single tasks, like meal preparation, while other sites offer the ability to coordinate many different types of tasks. If you are thinking about setting up an online registry to allow friends to help you, you might want to consider letting someone help you set up the registry, as asking for help can often be emotional and stressful.

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