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Holm Funeral Home

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Grief Support


When death touches the family of someone we love, we often ask the question, Is there anything I can do? We mean it sincerely, but sometimes we simply don't know what to do; and the person we want to help may be hesitant to ask for anything specific or may simply not be able to identify the help they need. This information is designed to give you practical suggestions which will enable you to be of significant help. 

Remember, people often find it difficult to ask for help. It is vitally important to volunteer. Following are a number of suggestions. During the first few days or at funeral time... 

  • Be a house sitter when the family is away from the home making funeral arrangements, attending the visitation or attending the funeral or memorial service.
  • If the death occurs out of town and your friend is leaving for the funeral, pick up their mail and newspaper, water plants and watch the house.
  • Arrange for the care of their pets.
  • Answer the telephone. Make a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of people who call, stop at the house or offer to help. Take accurate messages and give brief, correct information.
  • Telephone relatives and friends, notifying them of the death and the funeral arrangements.
  • Clean the house and/or yard in preparation for people coming for the funeral.
  • If needed, do the laundry.
  • Keep a written record of food brought to the house including names, addresses, telephone numbers, the type of food they brought and a description of the container.
  • Return food dishes and pans following the funeral.
  • Wash and clean your friend's car.
  • Arrange housing for out of town guests.
  • Coordinate or help prepare a get together meal for family and friends prior to or following the funeral.
  • Offer to make an enlarged color photocopy of a special picture for a photo display at the service.
  • Help write or address thank you notes to people who sent flowers or food or made memorial contributions.
  • Write a description of the flowers on the backs of flower cards.
  • Help receive friends during the visitation by being at the register.
  • Run errands such as grocery shopping, going to the cleaners, picking up people at the airport, etc.
  • Offer transportation for family or friends going to the cemetery.
  • If the death occurred in a nursing home, pick up the deceased person's belongings.
  • If the deceased had any rented medical equipment at home, arrange for its return.
  • Transport school age children or offer to keep young children.
  • Check the calendar of the deceased and/or your friend, and call to cancel or change appointments.
  • Clip the obituary notice from the newspaper. Send it to family members. 
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