Archive for March 18th, 2019

Service of Condolences

Monday, March 18th, 2019


A friend told me that when he was in college another student’s mother died and he didn’t say a word. When his father died and anyone said “I am sorry,” nothing more, it soothed him and he never again ducked from reaching out to a bereaved acquaintance.

Some are afraid or feel awkward about approaching a person who is grieving. This is natural. Try to remember it’s not about you but about them. If they don’t have time to speak with you when you call or if they don’t immediately respond to your email or text or if they don’t acknowledge the card you sent within a reasonable amount of time, you’ve done nothing wrong. Remember: they are adjusting to a life without a loved one. There may be all sorts of pressures on their time in addition to routine obligations at work and at home. And all along the loss and sadness fight for attention.

I don’t know if they still do it but in France mourners wore a black band around their sleeve or a black button in a lapel. I always thought that this was a good idea so that a grouchy salesperson or bus driver might be kind to a customer who holds them up by taking too much time to find a credit card or carfare.

Do you dodge expressing condolences? I hope you don’t have experience relating to death but if so, did you appreciate the slightest acknowledgement of your loss?



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