Months ago, I led a workshop on communications during difficult times. One participant shared that after a cousin’s spouse passed away, he and his wife had covered all the bases. They attended the funeral, sent a condolence note, and made a donation in memory of the deceased.
While acknowledging his thoughtfulness, I mentioned the importance of keeping in touch in the months following a death. A simple phone call to the bereaved can mean so much; just say hello and let them know they’re in your thoughts.
When I saw the participant a few weeks later, he mentioned that when he returned from my workshop, he told his spouse, “Robbie said we should call Helen.” So they did. He said Helen sounded dreadful when she answered the phone, but when she heard their voices, she perked right up. She told them how happy she was to hear from them and he thanked me for suggesting the call.
How much time does it take to make a call? Five minutes, maybe ten? In just a matter of minutes, you too can make a positive difference in the life of someone grieving a loss. And all you have to do is pick up the phone.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store. Click here to order.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons / 1950sUnlimited