A friend sent an email requesting friends visit her ailing spouse. He’s at home recovering from an accident and he is lonely while she is at work. She shared in her message that her spouse tires easily after at home therapy. While it’s clear he could use companionship, he has yet to regain his…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on April 1, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments
A young woman chose to announce her mother’s death on her mom’s Facebook page. She had no other access to her mother’s wide circle of friends and she felt this was the best way to share details for her mother’s funeral. Facebook friends “shared” the funeral plans and the young woman was surprised and…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on March 26, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments
It is unnerving to see Facebook recommend a deceased friend or acquaintance under “Suggestions for People you May Know.” Even creepier to get notified by Facebook to wish a friend happy birthday when your friend has died.
Facebook has processes in place to help you before…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 24, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments
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.
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 5, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 21, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 3, 2015 at 5:30am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 10, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments
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,…
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 1, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 17, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 3, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 14, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 6, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 18, 2014 at 12:49pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 3, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments
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.…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 23, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue