Do you remember the last time a friend went through a difficult time? Perhaps you sent them a text saying, “I'm thinking of you,” or “Wishing you well in your time of need.”
This is a common way of handling pain and tragedy in communities, and while your efforts are well-intentioned, they can leave your loved one feeling helpless instead of supported. Next time, consider starting or participating in a Meal Train. A piping hot lasagna and a friendly face can be a tangible sign of your well wishes to others.
Here are a few ways to expand on thoughts and well wishes.
Comforts of home
Think back. What always made you feel better when you were younger? Was it eating a meal cooked by your mom? Was it sitting on the couch with your family watching a movie? Was it a certain dessert that your grandma made? There are certain comforts of home that can be so difficult to replicate, and yet, when we have them, it brings us a deep sense of inner peace.
If you know someone going through a hard time, those are the comforts you should be seeking to replicate. If you don’t know theirs, then replicate your own. Bring them the meal and dessert that makes YOU feel better. They’ll love and appreciate the support knowing you thought of them.
When a difficult time occurs, your loved one is likely to be flooded with calls or texts. Everyone has the same things to say. They’re sorry about what’s happened. They’re thinking of them. Let them know what they can do.
Your loved one is likely fielding dozens of messages. While it may make them feel supported at the moment, those feelings don’t endure as the days or weeks continue on. If they have a long recovery after surgery, they will receive those messages in the initial days after the procedure. Likewise, if a close friend or family member has passed away, all the messages of support will dissipate after news of the death or funeral.
Offering condolences with a meal allows your friend to feel support in those initial moments and see encouragement well after that period has passed. It also fills them with support as they are receiving and eating the meal. It’s a much more sustained way of offering assistance during a time of need.
When something bad happens to someone we love, we want to be there for them. We want to send that text that says, “Let me know what I can do!” Because we really do want to offer the right type of support. Whatever they need, we want to provide it.
However, most people aren’t in a place to communicate their needs when something bad has happened. They’ll never reach out even to those closest to them.
If you know that thoughts and well wishes are only the beginning of what you should offer, then it prompts you to think bigger. It helps you realize that it’s on you to bring support to the person in need. You can ease their burden by bringing something as simple as a meal over along with a heartfelt card or hug to show -- not just say -- you’re thinking of them. A Meal Train helps you organize this outreach to ensure it works for them and their schedule.
Your thoughts and well wishes are a great starting point for a person in need, but they’re only a starting point. Visit Meal Train to learn more about how you can bring over a piping hot meal to help them feel supported.