Helpful Hints for Tragic Times Etiquette

In a perfect world, life would be all glittering sunshine and rainbows, however the reality is that unfortunate occurrences sometimes happen. In fact, I recently witnessed a friend suddenly lose a family member, and it reminded me that its during these tragic times, whatever they may be, when we need the support of our loved ones the most. It’s our loved ones who can make a challenging day a bit brighter, and help us to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And so, while I truly hope you don’t need to refer to this post often, here are my MBB helpful hints for tragic times.

  • Initiate contact: Reach out – call, text, or email – and let them know how sorry you are for what they are going through, and that you are there for them. They may not answer the phone (be sure to leave a voicemail) or respond to the message, however just reaching out will mean the world to them. Also, keep in touch and periodically check in, as the grieving process can last a very long time, and it’s paramount to not let them feel forgotten. 
  • Send a handwritten card: A beautiful handwritten “thinking of you” or condolence card is one of the most thoughtful gestures, and a way to sincerely express your sympathies. Perplexed on what to pen? When in doubt, speak from the heart. 
  • Avoid prying: While your intentions are pure, if they don’t offer details of the situation, respect their privacy. If they wish to share the intricacies of what happened, they will in their own time. 
  • Drop off a meal: Consider asking if you can drop off a comforting home cooked meal or delicious take-out. The last thing they need to stress about is what to prepare for dinner, and they will likely take you up on the generous offer. Also, when dropping off the meal, see if there is anything else you can do to help, be it tidy up the house or  babysit their little ones for an afternoon. 
  • A shoulder to lean on: Sometimes people just need a shoulder to lean on or chance to talk through their feelings, so show your support by offering to listen – and do just that, listen, as opposed to discussing your own personal tragedies. 
  • Flowers: Whether you create a lovely arrangement yourself or send blooms through a local florist, flowers will always bring a smile to their face. 

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