Robbie Miller Kaplan's Blog (218)

How to Help During a Natural Disaster

With Hurricane Harvey and vast flooding dominating the news, it’s easy to feel helpless in the wake of such personal tragedy. In this technology-driven world, we’re witnessing breaking news; reading, seeing and hearing first-hand how these disasters personally impact individuals and communities. Who can…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 31, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Should You Respond to Inappropriate Comments?

The bereaved report that they are frequently subjected to insensitive comments following a death. It’s not as if someone deliberately wants to hurt the bereaved; inappropriate statements appear to stem from a discomfort with the concept of death and individuals who…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 11, 2017 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Living Life With No Regrets

It’s not uncommon for those bereaved to feel regret. While anyone bereaved can feel regret, children and young adults can be particularly vulnerable. They have less experience with life and death and have yet to understand how fragile life can be. Regret is a deep sadness over what we perceive as missed…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 3, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

When a Bereaved Spouse Remarries

Have you heard that Patton Oswalt is engaged? Widowed fifteen months, he has found love again and plans to remarry. The media is aflutter with a bevy of congratulations and support along with criticism that he did not grieve long enough. How do you judge, or should you even judge, how long a bereaved…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 20, 2017 at 5:00am — 4 Comments

Life After You - Will Your Loved Ones Be Prepared?

My mother was a wise woman and a wonderful teacher. While we shared a lifetime of learning, it was not until her death that I realized she forgot one important lesson: She never told me how to live without her.

I’m not alone. Even though the death of a parent is the natural order of things,…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 10, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

When the Bereaved Wish To Be Left Alone

Most of us who have lost a loved one seek comfort from our friends, family, and community. So, it might come as a surprise to learn that some bereaved are not seeking solace and prefer to be left alone. I learned this when my friend’s mother-in-law died. I offered her my condolences and asked where I…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 26, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Lessons From My Dad

I see my mother everywhere. Though I never looked like her, I can now see a physical resemblance and so many of my qualities remind me of her. Not so for my dad. When I was young, everyone said I looked like him, but I no longer see the resemblance. I never had the good fortune to get to know my father and he…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 16, 2017 at 6:22am — No Comments

Grief's Imprint - Missing the Old Me

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 as we mourn our loved one, our perspective shifts.

Grieving a loss is…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 18, 2017 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

What To Do for a Grieving Mother on Mother’s Day

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 to know how a bereaved mom will feel, trust that the day will be hard, no…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 12, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

How To Write Sympathy Thank You Notes

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.…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on April 23, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Final Wishes

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,…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on April 13, 2017 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Stand by Your Friends

What’s the test of a friendship? Sadly, it’s when tough times come calling. Some friends stand by and others fade by the wayside.

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.…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on March 19, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Power of Condolences

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.…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on March 5, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Must Bereaved Parents Grieve Alone?

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 15, 2017 at 7:00pm — No Comments

What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 1, 2017 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Finding Your Way Following Loss

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?

  1. Re-enter slowly being careful not to overwhelm…
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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 24, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

Celebrity Grief

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 2, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments

Reflections on Loss

My mother was a wise woman. She always said, “Something good comes out of everything.”

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 14, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments

Holiday Gifts for the Bereaved

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 1, 2016 at 6:00am — No Comments

Belated Sympathy Notes - Two Perspectives

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 15, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

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