Give InKind’s Care Calendar helps answer the central question of how to give or receive support. In this case, we consider how to set up a support page for someone who has recently experienced the death of a spouse or a partner.
Providing broad guidance about how to address the loss of a partner of a spouse is difficult. No two experiences will be the same. This guide is intended to serve only as a starting point from which individual family circumstances can be defined and addressed by members of their caring communities. Begin by identifying a close friend in a position to speak with the bereaved about what needs they have, and how their community can offer meaningful assistance (see a sample Give InKind Support Page for the loss of a spouse or partner here).
The family situation of the surviving spouse will frame a starting point, depending on age of the deceased, children, and spouse. Use the Care Calendar to add as many actionable items that are needed to help care for the partner and family.
- Food: Meals and groceries for the family are always among the most popular calendar items. Providing food tends to be of particular importance to a bereaved spouse with children still at home. Or, if an extended family has gathered to mourn the loss of matriarch or a patriarch. Consider whether there are any food allergies, preferences – or aversions. Are groceries necessary? If there are children, include healthy snacks in grocery or food drop-offs.
- Childcare: (If applicable) If there are two or more children with different schedules, you can easily build that into the Care Calendar. A bereaved parent may need space to navigate new emotional and/or legal terrain. Sign-ups may include things like extracurricular activities, fun excursions, and more.
- Adult/Senior Care: If the newly widowed partner/spouse is older, there may be additional support to take into consideration like prescription refills, rides to/from doctor appointments, or getting to/from church.
- Pet Care: (If applicable) Are there pets to care for? It may be helpful to make temporary arrangments for necessary dog walks, feedings, or pet-sitting.
- Home Services: From maintenance appointments, to house cleaning, to helping an older citizen with chores around the house, use this category for any home services that they may not be able or ready to handle on their own.
- Other: “Other" is the ultimate catch-all category. This is a great way to create opportunities for connection that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of a crisis. “Other" can be used for support like a prayer calendar or scheduled phone calls to check in on them if they’re not up for in-person visitors.
People will have different financial circumstances. If the deceased was a young person, likely, their savings were not established. If the deceased had children, some additional financial support may be needed. If the deceased leaves an older citizen, financial assistance can be used towards bills. If there is such a need, simply enable the fundraising button on your Give InKind page and connect your PayPal and/or GoFundMe account.
The Give InKind Wishlist is another opportunity for others to meaningfully support a person who lost their partner. Browse Give InKind’s curated list for suggested items that could help in their unique situation. When you see an item that could be helpful, use the “+" icon to add to their Wishlist.
You may also add an existing Amazon Wishlist to your Give InKind page.
Use Give InKind’s do-not-disturb section to let others know about the recipient’s communication preferences. Keep in mind that these preferences can be easily turned on or off as a situation changes.
- Phone Calls: Does the recipient want to communicate with others? If so, what is the best way for others to reach out – a phone call or text? Asking about preferences lets them know they are being thought of even if they aren’t always up for talking.
- Visitors: Does the recipient mind visitors or would they prefer some alone time? If so, use the Special Notes section to add visiting hours and any other details.
- Flowers: Is the recipient open to receiving flowers, either at home or for a funeral/celebration of life service? Flowers represent different things to different people, so we recommend asking what their preference is.
Add unlimited updates to keep friends and family informed. If the surviving partner does not wish to communicate by phone or text, this is a great place to designate a third-party to act as the family spokesperson for updates.
The experience of grief and loss will be experienced in completely different ways by individual survivors. A support system helps to create a space for them to process their feelings. This is invaluable. Create your Give InKind Support Page here.
If you have any further questions, visit Give InKind’s Help Center or view our helpful articles about the loss of a partner or a spouse.
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.