Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How do you offer condolences after a death in this age of email and facebook?

Recently I have needed to offer condolences after the deaths of parents of others. One was for the mother of a neighbor; the other for the grandfather of my DIL on the other side of the country. In both cases I decided to use email as it was prompt. My Mom would be appalled but then she is a determined Luddite.

I also placed a phone call to my DIL while her grandfather was in the hospital to offer support.

I'm not sure how others are handling the changes in communication. The bereaved have posted things on facebook. Odd to "like" a comment about a recently departed loved one.

I do know that when my father died a few years ago I would truly have like to have heard condolences in any form as so few were offered other than by immediate family.

How are you handling this?

6 comments:

  1. I still prefer the old-fashioned way of sending a sympathy card with a personal note inscribed. I think it says more..."I thought of you/what you are going through; I got a a card for you; I wanted to share more than just a sentiment". Plus cards can be kept and read through again later when a grieving person still needs comfort.

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    1. I hadn't thought of people wanting to keep cards as I am not one who does that. Good point. Thanks.

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  2. I'm an admitted Luddite in this area. Condolences, and most thank you's and invitations are done in real handwriting and given in person or by real mail, distance or otherwise. when my late husband died the only emails I got were from two very close friends who I was in contact with daily and who husband hand worked with. I'll say here that seven years later I still have all those cards and notes.

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    1. I understand the keeping of cards now. I do think that emailing my DIL and her mother were on target as the DIL and I were communicating via email during his last days. We will of course be sending flowers to the funeral and I'll send a card to her mother. Thanks for your perspective.

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  3. I agree that nowadays many people, particularly younger ones, communicate by email. When a friend's husband died I sent her a message by email first of all, then sent a card to Australia where they lived. I don't know how long the card took - plus you never know if it's going to arrive! - and I wanted to make sure she received our condolences asap. With most friends I send birthday and Christmas wishes via facebook, and only send cards to family members and particularly close friends, who also send us cards.

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    1. I am comfortable with your approach. We do all seem to expect instant communication and not responding that way seems odd to me. I am the same now with birthday and Christmas unless I know someone elderly doesn't use electronic communications.

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