Robbie Miller Kaplan's Blog (207)

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

Workplace Loss – How You Can Help in Troubling Times

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 7, 2016 at 12:00pm — No Comments

An Inspiring Legacy

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.…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 21, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Grief Following a Long Goodbye

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.…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on October 7, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

Turning Grief Into Purpose

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 20, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments

Texting Support During Trying Times

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on September 1, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Every Kindness Helps Following a Death

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 17, 2016 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Healthy Grieving

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…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 10, 2016 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

Eight Surprising Things You May Feel After a Loved One's Death

We’re all familiar with the five stages of grief and we have come to expect that at some point following a death we might feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately, acceptance. So it may be surprising to learn that other feeling might appear that can be downright unexpected and…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 27, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Our Collective Grief – Mourning for Those We’ll Never Know

It’s not that we’re no longer shocked; it just happens so often that we feel numb in its familiarity. Another day, another shooting, and more tragic loss of life. We’re still grieving the heartbreaking loss of the victims murdered in Orlando and now we add to those the deaths in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, and Dallas. How do we process the loss to our national…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 11, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

Suicide - How To Help the Bereaved

It happened again in my community. A young man died by suicide. No matter how many times it happens, suicide is a sudden, unexpected, and tragic death that leaves the bereaved and the community badly shaken.

The bereaved not only feel the raw grief of sudden loss, but may wrestle with the question, over and over…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 13, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments

Missing Dad on Father's Day

It’s been over five decades since my father died; so long that the searing pain following his death is a distant memory. I’ve lived my life without him and I long ago left behind any yearning for the experiences I’ve missed.

That’s not to say there is no sadness in his death, but I have accepted it and moved on. And yet…

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Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 2, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments

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