The death of a loved one brings significant change. We are no longer a spouse, parent, sibling, child, or friend. Life is completely thrown off course and every aspect of it is altered, including our social order, financial circumstances, and relationships. We view the world through a different lens and…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 18, 2017 at 1:59pm — No Comments
Holidays that focus on parents are a particularly difficult time when you have lost a child. What does a mother do on Mother’s Day if she is a bereaved mom? Even if she has surviving children, a day devoted to mothers only heightens her sense of isolation and loss.
While it is impossible…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 12, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments
When my neighbor’s daughter died following a car accident, the neighborhood pulled together and extended an array of kindnesses. Folks they did not know left bagels on their doorstep; others placed additional obituaries in their mailbox, and many sent cards and flowers.…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on April 23, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments
A friend’s father made his final requests abundantly clear. He wanted no obituary, burial, or funeral rituals of any kind. His wife honored his wishes; he was cremated and his remains reside on the top shelf of the master closet. With no memorial or gathering of friends following her husband’s death,…Continue
How do you respond when a friend or family member gets sick, has an accident, requires treatment or rehabilitation, or experiences the death of a loved one?
Many of us want to be there and would like to do the right things, but something prevents us.…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on March 19, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments
If you have ever lost a loved one, you know how painful it is. We grieve: It's our response to loss, and mourning is our reaction to grief. Mourning is the heartbreaking process we work through so we can eventually adapt to loss.
Friends or family members play a crucial role in extending support during the mourning period.…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on March 5, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments
In the aftermath of her daughter’s death, my friend Isabel’s memory is hazy. She recalls friends surrounding her; they called, sent flowers, prepared meals, made donations, and attended the memorial service. And then silence. In the ensuing weeks, it took all her energy to…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 15, 2017 at 7:00pm — No Comments
It’s important to consider your social media accounts when making your estate plans. Do you want your accounts deleted or memorialized upon your death? Add a list of your social media accounts, passwords, and other required information to your estate planning documents so your…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 1, 2017 at 3:00pm — No Comments
When loss hits, it wipes you out. It can be hard to get out of bed each morning no less resume daily routines. How can you make you way back while continuing to mend?
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 24, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments
Are you grieving for Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds? Still saddened by the deaths of David Bowie and Prince? What about Garry Shandling or Harper Lee? It can seem odd to feel such a deep sense of loss for someone you never met, and yet it is normal to grieve for anyone who has touched your life.
I remember my own grief when newscaster Peter Jennings died. I not only welcomed him into my…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 2, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments
How she could come to that conclusion following my father’s death was puzzling. My mom was only 46 when she was widowed with four children. She raised us and sent us to college during an era when women did not work outside the home, and…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 14, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments
What’s not to like about the holidays? The vibrant colors, favorite foods, visits with loved ones, opportunities to reminisce, and wonderful smells of the season. Holidays are full of tradition, packed with memories, and bring so much pleasure. For all these reasons, holidays can be a minefield for the…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 1, 2016 at 6:00am — No Comments
For whatever reason, you never wrote a sympathy note. Is it OK to write one now, three, six, or 12 months late?
My perspective on belated condolences shifted when a bereaved spouse shared, “The…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 15, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments
A team of contractors was shocked to learn that the team’s government manager was injured in a car accident. The news was grim, and the contractors did nothing at first, not knowing whether he would survive his spinal cord injuries. One of the team members asked, “What if we send his wife a card and he dies? Will we be making the…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 7, 2016 at 12:00pm — No Comments
A friend in her early 30s was deeply affected by the recent death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres. She was unfamiliar with Peres until she read his obituary and learned his life story. She shared that she was unaware that Peres had tried to broker peace in the Middle East.…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 21, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments
It’s difficult to witness the physical and mental decline of a friend or loved one with a debilitating illness. In fact, it’s hard not to grieve while they are still alive, as responsibilities and relationships shift and lives change. Some might think that death would be a relief and grief shortened, but that’s not often the case.…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 7, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments
While grieving a loss, you learn a lot about what helps or hampers healing. That’s what happened to Laurie B. following the death of her beloved husband. Despite a wide circle of friends, she often felt alone and saw a need for sensitive support. She approached her pastor and suggested they start a shawl ministry, a support group where members would knit shawls…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 20, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments
We all know the importance of being supportive during troubling times, and yet it can be challenging despite our best efforts. One of my friends is facing that dilemma right now. Her dear friend’s mother is dying of cancer, and my friend has…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 1, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments
A friend of a friend died last week. We hadn’t been in touch with the family in 10 years, and I vacillated on whether to attend the visitation. I not only decided to go, but I also encouraged my spouse to go. We were surprised and humbled when the daughters of the deceased…Continue
A friend in her early 30s grieved the loss of both her mother and father who died just one year apart. My friend chose outlets for her grief that helped her process and mourn the deaths of her parents. After a year had passed, her older sister confided that she was concerned in…Continue