What to say

Recent Articles

Think Before You Speak


Please think before you speak especially when talking to someone who is grieving or suffering.  The following are some sentences to avoid: “You’ll get over it.” “I’m sure it will be just fine.”  (How do they know?) “You look awful.” (Wow that really helps!) “You look great.”  (Implying that the person should also feel great.) […]

Invite conversation on the anniversary date of a loved one’s death


It is helpful to remember individuals who are grieving want to know that others remember the one who has died.  They want to talk about the deceased person. JoAnne said to me, “Today, it has been one year since my husband died.” I asked her, “How long were you married?” She replied, “Sixty-five years.” I […]

Something is Better Than Nothing


Sadness is awkward. It makes us uncomfortable when other people are in pain. Wouldn’t you agree? Today’s wisdom is from Kendra Broekhuis whose baby died when she was 33 weeks along in her pregnancy. “Sadness is awkward.  It makes us uncomfortable when other people are in pain.” Kendra says, “Sadness is awkward. It makes us […]

72 Questions


Do you ever wonder what to talk about when you go to visit an elderly aunt, grandfather or parent? If so, check out Telling Life’s Stories on my website.  There you will find approximately 72 questions to ask someone about their life.  Such as: What was your favorite subject in school? Why? What was your first […]

What Can Anyone Say?


What would you say? Charlie Shedd says, “As I made my way up the walk, I heard a woman screaming.  Could it be Rebecca?  In trouble?  Dashing up the steps, I opened the door.  There she stood phone in hand, baby in arms, two others hanging to her apron.  I will never forget that picture:  […]

How Are You Doing Today?


Brian Mansfield is a writer for USA Today and was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 48.  Brian chronicles his life with cancer in a series of articles called, “My Semicolon Life.” Brian’s advice to caregivers:  Ask the question, “How are you doing today?”  The last word makes all the difference by differentiating the question from […]

Share a memory on the anniversary date of a loved one’s death


Since survivors appreciate remembering  the “good times” of their loved one, share your memories in a note.  Far more cherished than preprinted sympathy cards are handwritten notes that begin, “I’ll never forget the time that. . .” or, “Let me tell you why _______ meant so much to me,” or “Your father was . . […]