‘My patient said, ‘Can I ask you a random question?’ It was enough to make my heart stop.’: Therapist shares tips for supporting grieving loved ones

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“‘Can I ask you a random question?’

A question like this at the end of a therapy session is always enough to make a therapist’s heart stop.

But today’s question was one that is probably on the minds of many people out there.

‘My friend just had a death in the family and I want to do something for him. Is it appropriate for me to bring him a donut from his favorite bakery?’

First of all, I’d be hard-pressed to find a time in which it wasn’t appropriate to bring someone a donut from their favorite bakery but that’s not the question right now.

Second of all.

‘Yes. Yes. One thousand times yes. Bring the donut. Always.’

The most important thing any of us can do when someone we love is grieving is to show up.

Call them.

Text them.

Bring them donuts.

Bring them dinner.

Sit with them in silence.

Sit with them and talk.

Sit with them and cry.

Sit with them and laugh.

It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you sit with them in their grief and let them feel heard and seen.

If you are questioning whether bringing your grieving friend a donut is appropriate, go get one right now.

You won’t regret showing up for them and it will likely mean the world to your friend.

If you have a friend who experienced a loss a few months ago or the anniversary of that loss is coming up, now is probably a great time to bring them a donut too.

Lots of people show up in the beginning following a loss but then the world moves on, often leaving the griever behind.

Chances are that you’ve got people out there that you care about, right now, who are grieving alone and in silence.

​Bring them the donut.


donut friend wants to bring to grieving loved one
Courtesy of Jenni Brennan

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jenni Brennan. You can follow her journey on FacebookInstagram, and her websiteSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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