Monday, March 3, 2008

Don't Ask for the Dead Man's Golf Clubs: What to Do and Say (and What Not to) When a Friend Loses a Loved One by Lynn Kelly

The second book regarding death that I read had a slightly humorous title, but it was loaded with useful information obtained through the author's personal experiences with death and the experiences of those who graciously shared from their own painful losses. Many people confess to caring deeply, but not knowing how to express their feelings to one who is suffering from the loss of a loved one. This book gives insight into what was useful and what was hurtful to those who shared. Regardless of what we have experienced in life or how many people we have lost to death, we can't ever say we understand how another feels when they are faced with death because each experience is unique and we all deal with loss in our own way.

Many times when people are dealing with the loss of a loved one well-meaning friends volunteer to help out by doing things for the child/ren who lost a parent. "If you offer to help children, mean it. After my husband died, every guy that came over told my older son he would take him fishing. It never happened, and my son never forgot." Let's all keep our promises!

When sending a card to the bereaved you may want to include some of the following:

·Ask if there is a preferred charity and send a contribution in the name of the person who died.

·Ask if there is a special fund for the children or the family, and if so, send a contribution.

·Enclose extra stamps with your letter or sympathy card. Save your friend a trip to the post office when writing thank-you notes.

·Enclose long-distance calling cards or long-distance gift certificates with your letter or card. The family can use them to notify and keep in touch with relatives and friends who are far away.

For additional ideas, check your local library for a copy of this insightful book.

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