11. Mark your calendar

Double your efforts to be sensitive to the mourner's needs during difficult times of the day or on special occasions such as holidays, the loved one's birthday, a wedding anniversary or the anniversary of the death. Mothers and fathers who have lost children have shared that their own birthdays are often difficult because they seem to emphasize their loved ones absence. Mark your calendar so you will remember to reach out to the person.

A week beforehand, the survivor may begin to worry about how he will handle or "get through" the memorable date. Let him know you remember and offer to be with him that day. Making plans in advance can help alleviate some of the worries. A visit to the grave or a site which has special meaning acknowledges the person who died and helps the survivor face the reality and again release pain by expressing emotions and remembering.

You might also take the survivor to dinner with friends, go for a scenic drive, suggest (and pay for) a therapeutic massage or do some other nurturing act. When this follows a visit to a cemetery or another place full of memories, it helps to bridge the gap between past and present. A recognition of both is necessary to healing.