This list can be ideas for someone very close or even a neighbor. So here is a list of ideas:
1. Meals! No one even thinks about food so cooking is a chore. Think about making a few meals that can be in the freezer and just thrown in the oven. Or think about organizing a few meals to be dropped off that are all prepared and ready to eat. I organize meals at my church for any deaths, new babies, or anyone injured. It is a real blessing to them and many ladies I know like to cook so it works out well.
2. Kids! If they have young children consider taking them for the day so they can prepare for the funeral and do all necessary paperwork etc. Even consider taking the kids a few days after the funeral. It will really allow the parent to have some alone time to seek God and comfort from HIM.
3. If you are a friend think about helping them pick out and outfit for the funeral and doing their hair and even makeup. I had a friend paint my nails and just love on me before the funeral and it helped a lot! :)
4. Drop little notes and cards through out the year. We might think of something to do immediately but what about the rest of the year when holidays arrive, anniversaries, and birthdays. Those days can be a big challenge to loved ones.
5. Invite them to church if they don't belong to one. They really need to find comfort from JESUS!
6. Take a drive with them, let them sit in silence, talk your ear, or cry but getting out of the house and all the stress leading to a funeral is very helpful.
7. Try to help get any voice mails or messages to record the voice of the person who passed away. Some think this is crazy but my biggest fear was forgetting my moms voice and laugh. We were able to get 2 messages and then put it on a cd with her favorite songs. It was awesome to hear her voice!
8. Create some photo memories. Find old pictures and make a slide show or create something at artscow.com to give them such as a deck of cards, keychain, blanket, purse, etc etc. They have so many ideas and very good prices.
9. Candles... pick a scent and buy several of that kind. Burn the candle during any special holiday or day.
10. Give a journal and encourage them to journal memories! They will love to go back through it several years later.
11. Give financial help. Depending on the need of the family but if someone passed away from a illness such as cancer like my mom their might be several hospital bills not covered by insurance.
12. PRAY for them! Ask God to comfort them and seek HIM to guide you in talking and being a good friend during this time.
If you have any other ideas please feel free to add them in the comment section. I hope this will help someone!