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 forget the faces of the heroes, carrying children through the flooded…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 31, 2017 at 10:00am — No 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 genuinely are at a loss for words.…Continue
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 opportunity and it’s the last thing we want to feel when a loved one…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on August 3, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments
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 spouse should grieve? Is one year satisfactory? Eighteen months? Or will only…Continue
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, everyone I know has struggled with the death of a parent. Whether…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on July 10, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments
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 could send a donation in memory of the deceased. My friend shared that her…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 26, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments
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 wasn’t part of my life long enough for me to emulate him in any way.
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on June 16, 2017 at 6:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
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…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. My neighbor wanted to acknowledge the thoughtful deeds but was…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, the bereaved spouse has been unable to grieve. Her daughter worries she will never mourn or move…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 assume fragments of her routine. Isabel said she exhausted her reserve and could…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 heirs can easily and completely manage your affairs.…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
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 bereaved, leaving them feeling sad, left out, and lonely.
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 bereaved never ‘get over’ missing their loved ones, and they…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on November 15, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments