Grief is exhausting and can be all-consuming. During a time of intense emotional vulnerability, bereaved families face an onslaught of unfamiliar tasks and responsibilities. Knowing what to do, who to contact, how to proceed, and where to prioritize requires delicacy and concentration, all while coping with the immediate and long-term effects of loss.
Designed to lessen the emotional and practical burdens of bereavement, Empathy is an app that provides customized, step-by-step instructions to guide families after losing a loved one. Based on current grief research, Empathy approaches bereavement support with the understanding that the journey is different for every family, and each individual grieves in their own unique way.
Empathy creates a personalized checklist tailored to the family’s specific location and needs. This list encompasses a broad range of bereavement concerns, such as informing others of the death, funeral planning, navigating complicated family dynamics, legal filings, estate administration, applying for benefits, handling bills and debts, and many more details. A built-in chat feature puts users in touch with Empathy’s care specialists, who provide support and resources. The care team helps families cancel credit cards and subscriptions, close bank accounts, and other checklist items. Family members can collaborate on the checklist and share info via the app. Additionally, topic guides provide further support. The app is free for up to five family members, with premium features available for paid subscribers.
Ahead of the 2021 holiday season, Empathy added a new feature: the grief journal. The journal prompts family members to verbalize their emotions to understand their feelings better and, therefore, engage more deeply with the healing process. The care specialists at Empathy are ready to listen, or they can help users connect with grief counselors and other bereavement professionals. Audio recordings and guided meditations help users reframe difficult emotions and build strategies for coping with tricky situations.
Almost anyone who’s been through that journey can tell you how overwhelming it is to shoulder the burden of responsibility along with those unexpected waves of emotion that can last for years after losing a loved one. Empathy is available to any person who needs help navigating bereavement, whether the loss occurred recently or many months ago. It’s easy to see how the assistance provided by this innovative and compassionate app could help at any point in the grieving process.