Technology has changed the way we communicate. It’s now more common to keep in touch by text than e-mail, while phone calls and handwritten notes seem outmoded or obsolete. But when it comes to a death, are these newer forms of communication appropriate, or should we rely on the old fashioned forms of communication? Here are some thoughts:
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on April 22, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments
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
Added by Florence Isaacs on March 22, 2013 at 10:35am — No Comments
Last week my friend supported a dear friend whose father died. The dad had Alzheimer’s disease and had been failing for some time. But his condition had quickly worsened and he died unexpectedly.
My friend attended the funeral and funeral reception and since the family is Jewish, she helped organize and attended the Shiva. She was quite surprised by some of the behavior and questions that hurt both her…Continue
When my children were young we visited my mom on Valentine’s Day. My mom lived in a retirement community and I knew many of her neighbors probably wouldn’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day so I thought we’d do something thoughtful. I had my daughters help bake and decorate valentine cookies and we packed them with ribbons. While visiting my mom, the girls walked…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 13, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments
A message with the subject line “sad news” was in my email inbox this morning. I get these messages from my congregation all the time and it’s helpful to know that a member has experienced a loss so I can express condolences when I see them. But I’m always perplexed when friends, colleagues, and even family…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 1, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments
Not much has changed in the ten years that I have been writing about grief and loss. There’s still a sense of discomfort in dealing with the bereaved. Friends and loved ones continue to seek the perfect words that will comfort the bereaved. They’ve yet to learn that no one thing that they say or do will make the pain go away.
So what have I learned that may help you…Continue
The New Year inspires us to begin anew; to assess how we can start the year in a positive state that will hopefully set the tone for the months ahead. In this frame of mind, I began the morning by dumping my in-box on my desk and sorting through all the items that were not priorities in the busy weeks and months that ended the year.
Buried in the heap was a holiday…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on January 3, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments
It is easy to feel helpless with the tragic and senseless loss of lives in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Whether it is a very public or personal loss, what can we do individually or collectively to honor the memory of lives lost?
A colleague donated books on horses to the local library when a friend’s young daughter died of cancer. She had loved horses and this was the way he chose to honor her memory.
When my 20-year old…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on December 20, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Q. On the second anniversary of my husband’s death, I received an e-mail from one of his former business associates. The message consisted of two lines: “I still miss him. Hope you are well.” This person is the only one who remembered the date and reached out to me. I heard from him at this time last year, too, and…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on November 7, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments
Q. My husband died after 35 years of marriage. Although I still work, I feel nobody needs me anymore. My grown children live far away. I’ve just been invited to a family event at a cousin’s house, but hesitate to go because I haven’t been close to these relatives. What do you think?
There are so many losses when you’re widowed, including being stripped of a key part of your identity. Connecting with others is essential to finding meaning and support. A good place…
Q. A couple who were very close friends did not attend my husband’s funeral because they were booked for a vacation in Hawaii. The flight left the day before the service and the package was nonrefundable. Part of me understands their choice, but another part feels angry that they didn’t change their plans regardless. What are your thoughts?
This is a complicated situation, involving a mix of expectations, practical considerations, values and priorities, and…
Added by Florence Isaacs on March 19, 2012 at 11:00am — No Comments
Losing a spouse is perhaps one of the most emotionally grueling experiences an adult can go through in their lifetime. The deafening emptiness of your home without your partner, the realization of dependency on your spouse, and the loss of everything that you once shared with – companionship, a friend, a person to turn to for advice - these are hard pills to swallow. For women, especially mothers, this is an unbelievably difficult change in their lives. Being suddenly left to raise the…Continue
Added by Carl Mathis on July 20, 2011 at 9:16pm — No Comments
Let’s face it: we all have negative or bad experiences in the past that we just cannot seem to get past. There are just certain things, that when remembered, always cause anxiety and anger to build up inside us. The lost of someone you love is not easy to forget. And we have to admit that sometimes we just don’t want to let go of these negative emotions and memories. Why? Do we want to feel like we’re the victim? Do we need to even the score before we let go?
The truth is,…Continue
Added by Carl Mathis on February 26, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments
The challenges we face when moving forward.
I believe it will help you to know that moving forward when an unfortunate station happens is a process; in fact, it’s a long journey of acceptance and healing, and there is not a specific time period. But I know you can get through it, and return back to a happy and productive life. I know it is hard for you to believe what I am saying right now, but you must hold onto hope, keep the faith. Keep reminding yourself that things will…Continue
Added by Carl Mathis on February 26, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments