Friday, March 6, 2015

What do you do when you don't know what to do...

If you're anything like me at all, you're going to need to read that subject line like 3 or 4 times before it finally clicks.  Don't feel're just trying to follow my brain....and that can be difficult.

So here's my dilemma.  When someone you know passes away, the way I  was raised, you take the family food.  Now this comes down from Grandma's who cook and bake all day.  And they've been doing this for years.  So when this happens, they know the perfect thing that they can take to the family. Well....that isn't me.  I mean, the #1 thing that I don't have going for me is that I.DON'T.BAKE.  Yes, hear it here first....Danielle Gleason Brigance, The first Granddaughter of Eva Fay Gleason....does NOT BAKE!!  And now my sweet Grandma and all her baking friends are fanning themselves and saying "Well Glory Be. How can someone in this family just not bake?!"  Welp, I just don't bake.  I can't bake the slice and bake cookies. I can't take my mother's perfected chocolate chip cookie recipe and make anything near the perfect cookies she comes out with.
So back to the moral of the story.  When someone I know passes away, my general go-to is to try to get someone in the family to give me some kind of idea of what they need.  I don't want to show up with 33 loaves of white bread if that has already been delivered.  So, my go-to most recently was a couple bags of ice and a couple gallons of sweet tea.  Because you can always use ice and sweet tea, right?! Ugh, still to this day that seems stupid to me.  But whatever. But right now it's beyond that.

The family is just starting to process their loss.  Of course they want time alone and time with just close family, before they let the flood gates open.  But that leaves me lingering.  And lingering is where I do not do well. 
I'm a do-er. I need to feel like I am DOING something that is helping SOMEONE.  So when everyone is telling me that there's nothing I can do right now but pray....then that's what I'm going to do.  But it's not going to come easy to me. And likely it's going to lead to me going crazy and hopefully finding a way around the situation, so that I don't have to continue to bug the family for anything they need.

I read once that you should never tell a grieving family to call you if they need anything....because families don't take you up on that offer.  But really.  When I say that to people.....I mean it.  I mean it, like hey, I really need my car filled up with gas before this funeral tomorrow, would you mind taking care of it?!  Yeah....exactly.  That's a job with my name written all over it.
Hey, could you come over and just sit with me and hold my hand and listen to me cry and wipe my tears?  Yep...I'm right there for you when you need that also. Because that's what I do. That's what makes me tick, and what makes my heart happy at the end of the day.  So friends, know that I'm going to be there, with weird requests to bring you coffee, sit with you until you fall asleep.  Bring you stamps to mail your thank you cards.  I will be there.  I will be that person for you. 

BUT, the big BUT.....You have to tell me when to come.  Because I am not good at interjecting myself into other people's grief.  I don't want to feel like I'm pushing my way in.  So when you're good and ready, you invite me in.....and chances are....then you're going to have to kick me out.

But seriously.  If anyone has any good options for helpful things that can be done when a friend loses a loved one....I would really like to hear the ideas!


Danielle b


  1. I have no great ideas unfortunately. But a big ole casserole is easy and always a good comfort food. And I just wanted to say that you are such a sweetheart and you could help me any day. And I would do the same for you. -Amanda B. CO Sister :)

  2. My best advice for when a friend suffers a loss is to just DO stuff. Show up with meals, make it for them, clean their house, take their kids for an afternoon. Don't ask, just do. They'll appreciate it :)

  3. Having experienced a lot of loss the things that help are: Give a donation to something the person who passed was passionate about-bibles, missions, long as it matches the person. Show up and give hugs. Watch kids, give a card with a few dollars in it, most people could use help with practical things-come over and do the dishes.