How to Cheer Up a Bereaved Grandparent

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Life gets the best of us sometimes. We suffer a heartbreak, we lose someone we love dearly. When this happens to one of our grandparents, it’s hard to know sometimes how to help.

While we might be close to the bereaved, there’s an entire generation gap that leaves us unsure of what our role should be, especially in times like this.

Here are a few suggestions to help you decide what to do if you have a bereaved grandparent.

man sitting on bench

Let Them Know You’re Lucky to Have Them

Let your bereaved grandfather or grandmother know, in no uncertain terms, that you are thankful to have them in your life.

One way to do this is to tell them outright, face to face or over the phone.

Another is to send them cards over a span of time. If they use a tablet or a computer, send them online cards, like the ones you might find on a service such as Paperless Post.

From there, you can get more creative. You could even go so far as to hire a singing telegram service, send a bouquet of flowers, or stop by with balloons. 

Bake Them Cookies

It’s always good to try to find out any possible dietary restrictions your grandparent might have before you show up with a plate of something made with sugar, flour, and dairy.

However, if your grandparent can have cookies, brownies, cupcakes, pie, or some other type of homemade dessert, roll up your sleeves and get in the kitchen!

valentine pecan shortbread cookies recipe

Your grandparent will especially appreciate this if they live in a retirement home.

Not only will they get to show you off to their friends when you come by with the goodies, but they’ll also have something to share!

Write Them a Letter

You might not be used to getting letters in the mail, but there’s a good chance that your grandparent used to communicate with loved ones in that format. If you don’t know where to start, try this tutorial from

The best letters are handwritten, but don’t stress your stationery choice. Back when people wrote letters all the time, they would use any kind of paper they had around.

writing a letter

Ideally, it will be paper that has been unused for any other purpose! You might have to buy some envelopes and stamps at the grocery store. (If you’ve never bought stamps before, you generally ask for them at the cashier).

This form of communication is sometimes called “snail mail,” which is a reference to how much slower letters travel compared to email. But all this extra effort will make it all the more wonderful to your bereaved grandparent.

Plan a Special Day Out

If possible, see if you can spend some quality time with your grandparent outside of their home. Pick them up and take them to lunch, or invite them over for dinner.

Even if they decline they may appreciate the offer, and if they decline, don’t take that to mean they don’t want to see you; sometimes it’s just harder for the elderly to get out and about.

If that’s the case, find another way to show that you love them. But if you’re lucky enough to be able to spend a day with your grandparent, know that it will be a memory they’ll treasure.

Just Visit Them

Sometimes all it takes is for you to visit your grandparent. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be a great time commitment.

holding hands

Just show them that you think about them enough to go out of your way to stop by and hang out for a bit. Make sure that it’s a timeframe that is convenient for them, so they can give you their best attention.

Family is one of the most important things that you have!

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