All Blog Posts (3,266)

Dealing with the death of someone who has let you down.

I am wondering what to do and say to my friend and her family regarding the death of her sibling. He was a wonderful young man, sensitive and caring and a bit of a free spirit. As he got older he became addicted to a number of things and ended up in prison for a good many years for a horrific crime, really letting everyone down. Every relative washed their hands of him except his parents. He was released just months ago and now has died from an apparent overdose. I do not know what to say to… Continue

Added by Lily on November 7, 2008 at 8:48am — 1 Comment

What Is a Memorial Service?

Q. What’s the difference between a funeral and a memorial service? I plan to attend a memorial service for an old college classmate, but I’ve never been to one before. What should I expect?



A. Memorial services have become more and more common in this country, and in a way are a sign of the times. A memorial service is held without the remains present. Perhaps there are no remains, as in the case of some 9/11 victims or soldiers killed in combat. Or the…

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Added by Florence Isaacs on October 18, 2008 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Celebrating Life After Loss

I Count My Blessings


Every Sunday morning our minister starts the service with an introductory phrase followed by, “So let us celebrate!” During the week, when there was something for which Joe was thankful, he would often say, “So let us celebrate,” exactly mimicking the minister’s voice and intonations. It always made me smile. I realize I have not been celebrating my blessings.



I Celebrate My:




Family… Continue

Added by Marta Felber on October 11, 2008 at 3:30pm — No Comments

What to Say When Someone's Ex Dies

Q. My friend’s ex-husband just died, and I feel awkward about what to say to her and her children. I’m also concerned about talking to her ex’s family at the funeral. I met the in-laws a few times during the marriage. Do you have any suggestions?



A. It can get very complicated when someone’s ex-spouse dies. The surviving ex-wife or -husband may feel deep sorrow. For a time, the couple did share a life together. There can be good memories as well as bad, and…

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Added by Florence Isaacs on September 18, 2008 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

My Journal Is My Friend - Always Near to “Hear” My Grief

The pain is unbearable! I put down the feelings that engulf me. They come tumbling out, faster than I can write. Some words are blotted out where tears have fallen. I write the date and time of day before each entry, giving reality to what is happening. Sometimes I write a lot, other times only a sentence or two. Always I feel some measure of relief.



Why I Write in a Journal




My journal offers a ready release. It is always with me, going in… Continue

Added by Marta Felber on September 15, 2008 at 2:30pm — 5 Comments

FELICIA

MY SISTER IN LAW FELICIA PARDUE WAS 18 YEARS OLD AND WAS THE VICTIM OF A VIOLENT, PURPOSEFUL HIT AND RUN LAST MONTH. SHE PASSED AWAY ON AUGUST 22, 2008. SHE WAS THE MOST AMAZING PERSON WHO LOVED TO LAUGH AND ACT SILLY. HER LIFE WAS TAKEN BEFORE SHE EVEN HAD A CHANCE TO KNOW WHAT SHE WANTED TO DO WITH HER LIFE. SHE TOLD ME A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT SHE WAS TIRED OF ALL THE DRAMA AND READY TO MAKE A CHANGE AND START DOING RIGHT. SHE DID START. SHE STARTED COMING TO CHURCH WITH US. ON HER WAY TO… Continue

Added by AJ on September 1, 2008 at 5:05pm — No Comments

Sudden loss of my sister

I lost my sister two weeks back when a person driving a stolen pickup truck slammed into her bedroom, killing her instantly. She was a divorced mom in her mid forty’s & had 3 teen-age children. It has been hard to grieve her death because we were all so stunned by the death & all of the unresolved details that are left behind.

This event ahs flipped so many lives upside down it is hard to know where to even begin. It has been difficult for my wife & me because we live half way… Continue

Added by Sean on August 28, 2008 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Maybe Sing Him Back to Living

It's Saturday August 23rd at 4:46 am and I am either unable or unwilling to sleep. In an hour and a half it will be the eight month anniversary of my brother's death. Until I realize that his brain steam actually herniated in New York, so I guess it's really in a half an hour. I muse about the idea of walking down to watch the sun rise on by the lake and give myself a moment of solace after a never ending night. I can't sleep because I came home tonight knowing I needed a grief night. I've… Continue

Added by Keek on August 28, 2008 at 3:30am — No Comments

Sending Sympathy Flowers

Q. My colleague’s elderly mother just died, and a group of us at the office want to send flowers. What is the protocol at such a time? Should flowers go to the funeral home or to the bereaved’s apartment? What types of flowers are best, and what should we say on the accompanying card? We want to show our support in the most appropriate way.



A. Thanks to Hollywood movies, we often think of lilies as traditional funeral flowers. In fact, the most commonly…

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Added by Florence Isaacs on August 15, 2008 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

4 Weeks Today And Feels Like The Day I found You dead in our Home On July 15,2008

Kevin

today is 4 weeks and it is every bit as hard as the day I found you dead not a day has gone by with out you on my mind you know Kevin I can't drive without my I-pod and songs I use to listen to that made me happy just don't have the same happy beat anymore and other song have way to much meaning now songs like Diamond Rio ( ONE MORE DAY ) LeAnn Rimes ( HOW DO I LIVE ) that song that we use to listen to on every year on Sept 1 Faith Hill ( breathe )but the song that really hits home… Continue

Added by In Loving Memory Of Kevin Conatty on August 12, 2008 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Living with loss of a sibling

I should start at the beginning I guess. I'm from a large family, 6 boys and 2 girls. My sister is eldest followed by 5 boys, then there is me and last but not least my baby brother. We all lived a pretty interesting life with joys and sorrows. My Dad is an alcoholic and Mom was left to deal with running the house and taking care of everything. We lived in our bubble for decades until the bubble burst. My eldest brother Jim, a construction worker and carpenter by trade was suddenly fatigued… Continue

Added by Jo on August 7, 2008 at 8:42pm — No Comments

Coping lost of brother, turning 27th in a few days and its only been 6 months

I lost my brother on Jan. 30, 2008, he was only 26 years old with two sons. He lived the last three months in the hosp., and he just keep saying that he didnt wanna die in there but he was going too. August 16th will be his 27th birthday and I dont know what to do. I cry all the time even know im crying, lot of nights i cry myself to sleep, I cry on my way some where I just cant stop crying! He was my best friend. We got so close I have two sister also but between me and him we were best buds.… Continue

Added by Lorin on August 4, 2008 at 9:51pm — No Comments

Loss of a Child

On August 2, 2002 we lost our Laura in a car accident. She passed instantly, yet we will forever grieve.

Added by Cynthia on August 1, 2008 at 2:42pm — No Comments

I still miss my Father

I lost my dad to cancer April 1 1992. I still have not been able to accept his death completely. My dad was a big man, he was so full of life and love that his passing left a huge hole in my life, my heart, and all I can think is.... I want him back. It is hard to lose any family member, but there is a special bond between a father and daughter. I was with my daddy when he passed. I was there in the bedroom he died in, and watched as he took his final breath. I spent the last night he was on… Continue

Added by Debby Cacioppo on July 31, 2008 at 11:27pm — 2 Comments

What to Say When Someone Dies: Rocky Relationships

Q. One of my customers, someone I’ve done business with for many years, just lost his brother. I know from numerous conversations that my customer didn’t get along with his brother and barely spoke to him recently. What should I write in a condolence note in these circumstances? Somehow, “This is a terrible loss” doesn’t fit.



A. Complicated family relationships are all around us, and it’s definitely awkward when the connection between the bereaved and the deceased…

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Added by Florence Isaacs on July 15, 2008 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

WE LOST OUR SON A MONTH AGO AND THE PAIN IS UNBEARABLE I MISS HIM SO MUCH AND TO THINK THE PERSON THAT DID THIS TO HIM IS STILL BREATHING!

WE LOST OUR SON A MONTH AGO AND THE PAIN IS UNBEARABLE I MISS HIM SO MUCH AND TO THINK THE PERSON THAT DID THIS TO HIM IS STILL BREATHING! Continue

Added by Diana on July 9, 2008 at 9:55am — 8 Comments

Acknowledging Condolences from Others

Q: When my father died recently, I received flowers and many condolence notes. Do I have to send acknowledgments right away? What should I say?



A. It’s courteous and important to acknowledge notes of sympathy, as well as flowers or food baskets you’ve received, or contributions made in memory of the deceased. Finding the right words can be difficult, however, especially if you must write to a great many people. One widow I know had to compose 75…

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Added by Florence Isaacs on June 15, 2008 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Visiting the Cemetery

It's only natural that there are superstitions surrounding cemeteries. As a kid I remember being told that you had to hold your breath whenever you passed a cemetery. That didn't really work for me, because I lived across the street from a cemetery during my entire childhood.



It was a little country cemetery, bordered by fields and forest. It probably had about a hundred occupants, dating back to the 1880s. I used to play in it, looking at the tombstones and pretending to talk to the… Continue

Added by Lee on June 4, 2008 at 2:26pm — No Comments

Never Regret Growing Older

When I was a child, my family had a framed print with an old man and a motto underneath that said, "Never regret growing older; it's a privilege denied to many." I can still see it in my mind's eye - the old man's weather-beaten hat, the driftwood frame, hung on our old wood paneling.



It's a very Irish Catholic, gloomy, guilt-inducing thing to say, like when my Great-Grandfather Hughes used to tell us that if we saw a penny on the street and didn't pick it up, "you'll see the day… Continue

Added by Lee on May 30, 2008 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Always Go to the Funeral

National Public Radio produces a segment called "This I Believe," and it's just fantastic. People from all walks of life contribute essays around the topic of what they believe. (Just like the title says.)



Anyway, NPR broadcast one essay in particular that's always stuck with me, and it's called "Always Go to the Funeral." The author Deirdre Sullivan says that her father taught her the lesson that you should always attend the funerals of people you know, and that it's very important… Continue

Added by Lee on May 29, 2008 at 4:12pm — No Comments

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