Saturday, April 14, 2012

Helping people deal with loss & grief!

Cole Imperi is a business owner and proponent of the written word.

In her post about "How to Write a Sympathy Card" she shares keen insight that every person should know in offering care.  Her insight is especially important for care-givers in counseling, pastoral care, or hospital/hospice work - but even for friends offering condolences - for the loss of a loved one, for death, or for any loss really - her words are insightful and important.  Her post, about writing notes, is actually about offering care!  Great insight!

Cole Imperi's original post is linked above - found at the blog of the European Paper Company.

Here are some excerpts if you don't want to read the entire entry.

There are lots of things you can say in a sympathy note, most of which are probably fine. However, there are a few things you should avoid saying in a sympathy note and I’ll tell you why.

Just Call

“If there’s anything I can do, let me know,” or “If there’s anything I can do, just call.”
Those are both very nice sentiments and anyone who says them means well. However, what you are really saying is: “I’ll help, but you have to call me first.” When someone is grieving, the last thing they need is another ball in their court, so to speak. And honestly, they’re not going to call. . .

“I Understand”

Be careful when you say you understand or you know how the person feels (particularly when you’ve never been through the same situation). . . .

Take the Time

Most anything written in a sympathy note has good intentions behind it. However, if you are going to take the time to write one, really pay attention to what you are saying versus what you are meaning. They can be different. If you want to actually do something for the bereaved, say what it is and commit to it. . . .

Death is a funny thing. It happens to all of us, and will happen to everyone we know. Yet, many of us struggle with how to act or what to say when it happens. If you stay positive and commit to doing something for the bereaved you’ll stand a much better chance of sending a note that is meaningful, memorable and a true comfort.

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