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What to Do when Someone You Know Loses a Loved One

My friend’s mother died when we were in junior high school.  Unexpectedly, she had a brain aneurism at work. I attended the memorial service, so very uncomfortable with the idea of death and unschooled in what to do, I turned into an entertainer.  At the reception I told jokes and stories, trying to keep it light for me.  Viscerally I was so uncomfortable, my nerves had gotten me.  I didn’t once say a word about her mother. Fast forward decades and I’ve lived a bit longer and stumbled my way through awkward situations, including the death of my own loved ones.  This is what I’ve learned.  When we discover someone we love has died or experienced death within their family, immediately send something.  Send a phone call, a card, a FB post, a gift, flowers, home cooked meals, something.  Let them know they are loved.  My favorite?  Cards and gifts, something personal.  A massage, a mani-pedi, a book on grief, something.  Grief is filled with so many paradoxical emotions,...

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