How to help

My brother in law has died suddenly and his wife is in shock. Any advice on the best way to help her? Keeping in touch and helping with arrangements but feel I want to do more but don’t know what will help.

Dear @Mac4

Welcome to the community. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your brother-in-law.

Sue Ryder here has bereavement information and support pages which will be of help to you and your sister.

It might be worth suggesting to your sister that she books an appointment with her GP for support and to be referred to Counselling and for support groups in her local area. Sue Ryder also offer Counselling. The information can also be found on our website.

Please continue to reach out and your sister can too. This forum is very supportive and can be of great help to her and you. If you would like more information on other organisations that can support your sister please email

Keep giving the amazing support as you are to your sister and please reach out any time here. We are here for both of you.

Take care.


Hi there from my experience I would say be present for her, but not only at this time also as time goes on as it gets harder further down the line.
At the beginning everyone flocks to help but then gradually disappear.
Include her in activities and invites later on even although she won’t want to go as her whole world will change.


Good advice thank you.

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Hi Mac4
It is wonderful that you are finding out best way to help.
I know everyone is different but I can tell you what help I would have liked when my husband died suddenly last November. Instead of vague offers of help I would have appreciated someone arriving with a meal. I couldn’t face shopping or cooking and wasn’t eating.

If the funeral hasn’t happened yet you could offer practical help with that. If you are close enough you could offer to say something at the funeral or offer a lift to someone. I really appreciated someone making cups of tea and helping with food at the wake.

I was grateful when my brother checked I was ok for money. You might not think that is appropriate for you but it might be.

Three months later I could do with someone helping fix my fence or gardening, The practical things that my husband used to do.

You can’t make her feel better, you can’t bring your brother in law back but there will be things you can do. Let her know that you care and keep up the contact over the coming months…

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