Florence Isaacs is a freelance journalist and author of many books, including My Deepest Sympathies...: Meaningful Sentiments for Condolence Notes and Conversations, Plus a Guide to Eulogies.
Florence gives tips on writing sincere and thoughtful sympathy notes and answers questions about condolence and eulogy writing, funeral etiquette and more in Sincere Condolences, her original monthly column for LegacyConnect. In her new blog Widow in the World, Florence – a widow herself – offers advice to bereaved spouses and partners.
If you have a question for Florence, please email her at email@example.com.
Q. My aunt just died, and I want to attend the funeral. However, I haven’t spoken to my cousin (her son) for several years after a series of arguments. What should I do? I’m afraid he’ll be annoyed to see me there or even challenge me.
Funerals and memorial services are meant to be healing rituals for survivors that bring us together to share the loss of a loved one. But that doesn’t happen if the bereaved are…Continue
Q. A friend of mine has been asked to help pay for the funeral of a cousin she was never close to. Somehow it doesn't seem right, especially when the bereaved are not exactly poor. Whatever happened to families taking responsibility for such costs? And how can my friend handle this situation without feeling…Continue
Q. My siblings and I are bickering over how much to spend for flowers at our mother's funeral. It's, "What do we need flowers for? They're a waste of money" – all the way to, "Let's fill the chapel." What do other people do?
Q. I was recently at a funeral for a relative with Alzheimer’s disease who died in a nursing home. I happened to overhear someone tell the deceased’s son that, “It’s better this way.” The comment seemed inappropriate to me, especially because the speaker was not someone who knew the family well. The son also received some condolence notes that made similar statements. Your thoughts?
Many people think that words…Continue