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
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 27, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 11, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 13, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 2, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments
Pets share a special place in our lives and become a member of the family. They’re good for us, bringing pleasure, companionship, comfort, and love. So it should be no surprise that when they die, we grieve for them.
There was a time when pet owners got little support after their pet’s death. It was highly unlikely…Continue
When a parent, spouse, sibling, child, or friend dies, we grieve for our loss. As we continue to mourn, we wonder if we will ever find the love, companionship, or support that is now lost. While our loved one is physically gone, we cherish the memories of our time together. As the weeks and months pass, we may find ourselves wanting to make new…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on May 3, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments
The season has changed and the days are longer and warmer; new blooms rise from the ground each morning, and tree buds are bursting. Nature is at its glorious best, and the days hold the promise of what is to come. How can anyone be sad at this time of year?
The spring blooms that bring so much…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on April 11, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments
Facebook has become a major channel for your friends to share and mourn the death of their loved ones. Unlike obituaries that follow an established format, there are no standards or rules for Facebook death announcements. Friends might write an actual death announcement, a tribute message, or share the obituary of a deceased family member or friend.…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on April 1, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments
You’ve heard it before: It is important to make contact with the bereaved and acknowledge their loss. And yet many people stay away, fearing they will say the wrong thing – and, their fears are well-founded. The bereaved frequently share hurtful things friends and loved ones tell them while mourning their loss.…Continue
A week after my friend’s baby died, her mother-in-law appeared at her door. My friend told her she wasn’t up for a visit, but her mother-in-law assured her she would just sit and keep her company. And that’s what she did. She sat quietly in a chair near my friend. After a while, she fixed them some tea. My friend now…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on March 2, 2016 at 2:30pm — No Comments
Get on with her life? My friend had yet to mourn the death of her father or even begin to process the loss and what it would mean to live her life without her…Continue