Robbie Miller Kaplan's Blog (158)

How Families Can Grieve Together From Afar

With families settled all over the country, even the world, it can be difficult for them to come together to mourn a death. That’s what happened to a friend when her nephew died in Alaska. Her immediate family was spread out on both coasts and a funeral in Alaska was logistically impossible. Her nephew’s death was a…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 24, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

Acknowledging Death Anniversaries

It does not matter how long it has been, the date a loved one died is a sad day. When that date occurs, however we choose to spend it, eventually we all remember and reflect on our loved one and the void their death created in our lives.

Grief…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 5, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

When the News We Receive Is Bad

The telephone was once the culprit. When it rang at 2 or 3 a.m., you knew it meant bad news. Now, in the era of 24/7 communications, we receive bad news at any time and in any form, whether it’s an email, text message, Skype, Facetime, Facebook post, Twitter or even Facebook…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 21, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

What Is Your Legacy? Ponder That in 2015

My mom was an English teacher who taught for several years in an inner-city school. Many of her eighth-grade students read on the third-grade level, and my mom said if she taught one child to read each year, it was a successful year. She taught many children…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 3, 2015 at 5:30am — No Comments

Communicating With the Bereaved

Death is an inevitable part of life and it’s something we will all experience. Even if we understand that death is unavoidable or we anticipate the death of a loved one, it is still a shocking and painfully difficult experience. No one is truly prepared to mourn the death of a loved…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 10, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Surviving the Holidays Without Your Loved One



The period of mourning is sad enough but when holiday season hits, it can be harder to cope. Holidays are laced with memories; it’s not just the actual day that is difficult but, it’s the days and weeks leading up to the holiday that are filled with reminders in the foods, smells,…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 1, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Why Is It So Hard to Ask for Help?

A family in my neighborhood has been quietly struggling for months. The mom has a stubborn virus that is taking a long time to heal and the dad is shopping, cooking, cleaning, and ensuring his kids get wherever they need to go. When he finally shared his family’s situation, neighbors…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 17, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

Small Kindnesses With Big Impact

In the best of circumstances, life is not easy. And we all experience rough patches, some harder to navigate than others. When life feels overwhelmingly difficult, a kind gesture can feel like a lifeline.

I have two friends…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 3, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

How to Help Friends and Loved Ones in Difficult Times

When we hear sad news we want to help, but we often do not know how. Instead of figuring out a way to help we say, “Call me if you need anything.” Individuals facing difficult times frequently find it difficult to put one foot in front of the other; they do not have energy to call and even…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 14, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Who Exactly Are the Bereaved?

When we think of the bereaved, we most often include the primary relationships, such as: husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter. Other family relationships that may come to mind include grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle or cousin as well as…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 6, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

What not to say to a bereaved parent

When a friend gave birth to a stillborn baby her granny told her, “Now you have your own angel.” This comment upset my friend and yet her granny repeated it every time they spoke. My friend shared, “I love my granny but my baby is dead and what she is saying to me is no comfort.”

It is rare to…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 18, 2014 at 12:49pm — No Comments

Sharing Stories – One at a Time

My grandmother was born in Austria and when I visited there this summer I felt an immediate connection. When I had my first bite of apple strudel, it triggered a flood of memories. The last time I ate apple strudel was when I was a child and my grandma made it. I posted a…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 3, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

What to do with all those memories



When someone dies, they leave behind a footprint. In years past you most likely found old photographs, letters,…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 12, 2014 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

How to Help a Bereaved Family

The death of a family member is more than painful; the absence of a parent or a child throws the entire family out of kilter. Roles are changed, schedules must be realigned, and financial circumstances may be greatly altered. The middle child may now be the youngest, or the eldest child may become an only child.…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 4, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Don't Avoid Calling the Bereaved

It happens every time I call the bereaved; they sound dreadful when they answer the phone. When they hear my voice and realize I’m calling to say hello, their tone miraculously changes and their gratitude seems to seep through the phone line.

The fact is, our phones rarely ring…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 23, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

Begin With a Sympathy Note

Sympathy notes are not easy to write; it’s difficult to know what you can possibly say to comfort someone who is so profoundly sad. And yet we work hard to write them knowing how important it is to acknowledge a loss and comfort the bereaved.

Despite our efforts to send condolences, it might be a shock to…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 8, 2014 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Trends in Mourning Rituals

There was a time when mourning rituals were steeped in etiquette. You knew exactly what to expect and how to demonstrate good manners. But all of that has changed with social media, emails, texts, and ever-evolving…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 23, 2014 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

How to Help a Bereaved Child

Death is a devastating experience, and it is hard to know what words or actions can possibly ease the loss. When the bereaved is a child, it is even more challenging to know what to say or do. As difficult as it may be, “Try to act like things are as normal as…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 6, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

What You Should Never Say to the Bereaved

While chatting with a friend I mentioned that my good friend had died this winter. She asked, “Is that your friend who was terminally ill?” When I answered yes, she said, “Well you knew she was going to die.” Speechless, I thought, what an insensitive thing to say to someone…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 12, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Missing Mom on Mother’s Day

No matter how old you are you are never prepared to lose your mother. Mothers play such a unique role in our lives and they are irreplaceable. When your mother dies, the grief can be overwhelming.

There is so much lost when you no longer have your mom. Who will ever remember your favorite cookie, cake or entrée?…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 1, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

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