Florence Isaacs is a freelance journalist and author whose books include My Deepest Sympathies, When the Man You Love Is Ill and Just a Note to Say...The Perfect Words for Every Occasion.
In her new monthly blog for LegacyConnect, Florence – a widow herself – offers advice to bereaved spouses and partners. Widow in the World is Florence's second blog for LegacyConnect. She also writes Sincere Condolences in which she offers tips on writing thoughtful sympathy notes and answers questions about condolence and eulogy writing, funeral etiquette and more.
If you have a question for Florence, please email her at email@example.com.
Q. I want to arrange for perpetual care for my late husband’s grave, but am not quite sure what’s involved, how to proceed, and how much it will cost. Also, what’s the difference between perpetual care and a permanent maintenance fund?
Most states require cemeteries regulated by the state to establish a permanent endowed fund for cemetery maintenance. The principal cannot be withdrawn from the fund; but the income derived pays for annual upkeep—services…Continue
Q. My husband died recently and I’m thinking about what should be written on his stone. Are there any rules to follow—or any caveats? I don’t want to look back a few years from now and think “Why on earth did I pick those words?”
You’re talking about an “epitaph,” a commemorative inscription on a gravestone. The format usually includes the deceased’s name and date of birth and death:
Q. My husband died 10 months ago and I still haven’t cleared out his closet and bureau. I can’t say when I’ll be ready to do it, but it certainly isn’t now. Is there something wrong with me? Also, what do I do with his belongings when I am ready?
A bewildering number of tasks fall on a widow’s shoulders, but one of the most daunting is emptying your mate’s drawers and disposing of his clothes and other personal effects. I know of one widow who tackled the…Continue
Q. How can you respond to people who say dumb things to you after your husband has died? A woman I barely know called two days after I was widowed and said, “Don’t worry. You’re going to be just fine.” I felt so angry at her. How could she possibly know what I was going through and what my life ahead would be like? I just bit my tongue and said nothing, but it’s aggravated me ever since. Is there a better way to cope with such statements?
I think you…Continue