Florence Isaacs is a freelance journalist and author of many books, including My Deepest Sympathies...: Meaningful Sentiments for Condolence Notes and Conversations, Plus a Guide to Eulogies.
Florence gives tips on writing sincere and thoughtful sympathy notes and answers questions about condolence and eulogy writing, funeral etiquette and more in Sincere Condolences, her original monthly column for LegacyConnect. In her new blog Widow in the World, Florence – a widow herself – offers advice to bereaved spouses and partners.
If you have a question for Florence, please email her at email@example.com.
Q. My co-worker was in the middle of a messy divorce when her soon-to-be ex-husband died of a sudden heart attack. She has a 4-year-old son. My question is should I send a condolence note – and if I should, what can I say? It’s such a complex situation and I don’t want to write anything inappropriate.
“Complex” is certainly the right word. In your place,…Continue
Q. A friend of mine, who is planning her mother’s funeral, mentioned working with the funeral home on “the order of service.” I’ve never heard this term before. What exactly is the order of service?
I’ve had to plan three different funerals myself, and never heard of it either. Now I’m enlightened, thanks to your question. The order of service is essentially a program of how a funeral or memorial service will proceed. The order of service may be a printed guide for…Continue
Q. My friend’s father just died unexpectedly, which left the family scrambling to write an obituary for him. Their experience made me think about writing an obit for my own 75-year-old father now – while I have the time and composure. If I do it now, I can also…Continue