questionshow would you help a neighbor if they areā€¦


Whether he's diabetic or not, prepared food may be very welcome. Have you noticed if there are 'guests' staying there? They might welcome some food.

You didn't mention if you're in a house, if so, perhaps you could offer to take care of his lawn/yard for a month or so. When my husband died, a neighbor paid to have our lawn mowed, etc. for 3 months. Yes, that was a very large gesture - and so thoughtful. More so because the neighbor did not do his own lawn & knew that my husband & I always did the yard work ourselves. Another insightful thing - he did not ask 'what he could do' - he just did it. (Often when you ask what you can do, they do not know what to say.)

Other suggestions: Call & say you're going to the grocery store & ask what he needs, pick up the items & deliver to him. Also, you might ask if he would like to go shopping w/you. Sometimes just getting out of the house & not being concerned about driving is nice.


make the offer if they need help with anything, you will be there.

they might need the lawn cared for, packages picked up, basic outside of the house stuff that every homeowner is stuck with that might be a "not right now" kinda thing. also offer to keep an eye on the place if father needs to go somewhere (regardless of hospital or visit his sister a few states away).

i know this sounds kinda trival stuff, but you might be surprised how much it means if one has physical issues.

@gmwhit: we think so much alike. i was typing the same time you were


My first thought was lawn care too. Help with other household chores might be appreciated as well. Even something simple like laundry can be a big help. Or running errands. Giving rides in situations where a car needs to go to the shop, etc. Some of those are more longer term/down the road things that you might be able to help with.

For food, if you make something like soup or something that freezes well it can be put in the freezer now (when there's probably a lot of food coming in) and eaten at a later date (when there's less food).

Another suggestion is don't ask "Is there anything I can do?" but rather ask "Can I do X?". People are often at a loss for what they need help with but if you give them some suggestions they are more likely to realize that, yes, they could use some help with that.


There's an orchard here locally that has it's own bakery and when anyone in our neighborhood or family has lost a loved one, the first thing we do is send a gift basket from there with fruit and baked goods. Even if they don't eat it many times there are others who visit and it's nice for them to have and be able to share. Then we start doing as the others have mentioned, mowing their lawn for them and cooking meals. If you just show up with something it makes it harder for them to say no.


Thanks for all of the answers so far. I didn't mention that we have lived here for 1-1/2 years, and I have never seen another vehicle in their drive except for another son's who lives across town. They hire the yardwork done, so that sounds doable(thanks @gmwhit). I'm still open for ideas though.


I think gmwhit had some excellent ideas. You could also just go buy with some lemonade and sit with them.. As someone else noted, when people are asked what they can do, no one knows what to say. They might just like to talk; perhaps you could start the conversation by saying something like "We are so sorry for your loss. How are you doing? And then maybe something about the son.. that sort of thing. This may sound like it's not much, but, having lived through similar experiences, sometimes I just wanted someone to listen or to even sit with me quietly. Unfortunately, there is no way to "make it better' - it just hurts and will for a long time. Good Luck


Honestly, most people grieving will never reach out to a "Let me know if you need anything" request. It makes them look needier than they're comfortable being, and they're too busy mourning to really think about who they're going to call to do what.

If you want to do lawn care, just do it. Or just drop food off, like casseroles or something easy to heat up in a disposable dish (so there's no need to return anything). Or something.


@jsimsace: I just wanted to say in these times it's good to see other people such as you being thoughtful even when you don't know them well. I like these ideas and all the advice being given.

Deals, you're pretty nice folk and I wanted you to know that. Just putting that out there.


If you don't really know the person, leave him alone. I know I don't like to be bothered by strangers in times of grief.


My suggestion is don't offer, just do something. If you notice the lawn needing mowed, just do it. If you think some food would be appreciated, just take it. If loneliness will be an issue, then make some coffee, iced tea, or even just take cold water over and sit on the porch and chat (listen). When you ask "is there anything I can do?" usually the grieving person is not able to focus on what you can or can't do. So take the initiative and just do!