What to write to bereaved parents – Part Two

It’s one thing to write about what to write in general terms. But when it happens to you, and the deceased child is a relative, wow – does that really bring it home.

What to write to bereaved parents

My cousin whom we lost a few days ago aged just 31. What the hell can I say to his parents? What can anyone anyone say to his parents that might help them?

On Tuesday this week I sat in my car after attending an excellent business networking launch of a new group and, feeling in a good mood, I took my phone off “silent” and looked through my messages.

One from one of my favourite cousins, a French-speaking Belgian (my mother was Belgian) began with the words – in French – “I am devasted to tell you that our son was killed in a motorcycle accident in the Philippines on Sunday.”

He was 31 years old. [Read more…]

What to write to someone whose child has died

Have you ever said or written something, trying to be helpful when someone’s child has died, only to realise that was probably the worst thing you could have done?

what to write to bereaved parents

Nothing can possibly replace or compensate for the child they lost.

Some years ago my next-door neighbours got married. As we lived in adjacent terrace/town houses, were good friends, and it was summer, we opened up both homes for a circular party which went on until well into the next day and on arising that next morning I found various sleeping bodies in my house with no idea who the hell they were.

No worries: all were wedding guests and the bride, groom, my partner and I managed to make a hangover-curing breakfast for all before booting them out and returning to bed to catch up on sleep. The wife was pregnant at the time. At full term she went into labour, and delivered their son, Jack. He died a few hours later. [Read more…]

What do we want to write better in 2019?

I don’t mean this in a commercial way, but rather as in what from your heart do you really want to share with others in this coming year when we’re focused more than ever on deeply personal issues like mental health, mindfulness, happiness, positivity in the light of political, social and ecological darkness?

Do we want to write more about politics?

I don’t, for sure. I don’t dare.

What will we write about in 2019

What can we write about in 2019 that will help address our current issues?

Looking out through my electronic window a.k.a. my desktop screen, all I can see is a childish, petulant bully in the USA … a frightening face-off in our neighbouring France … courteous, amiable and utterly confused political squabling in the UK’s parliament … terrifying geological realities in Indonesia … all symptoms that remind us that we’re simply festering little pimples on the backside of a churning world. [Read more…]

What NOT to write to cancer patients – please

Having had cancer twice myself, I cringe sometimes at the comments well-meaning people write on social media to a friend or acquaintance who is “battling” cancer. Encouraged by the tabloid media who love to dramatise cancer even more than it deserves, with “gruelling treatments,” “terrifying surgery,” “fighting for their life” and other exaggerated clichés, commenters tend to turn someone’s cancer journey into World War 3.

how not to write to cancer survivors

Much as the media love these terms, we cancer survivors never talk about “cancer-free” or “all-clear.” With cancer, you learn never to think “never.”

Some comments that may not do as much good as you’d like, and why …

“You’re strong – you’ll beat it!” Unfortunately cancer doesn’t discriminate about who it hits – it can occur in the fittest of athletes as easily as it can in someone who is physically weak. [Read more…]

Happy Thanksgiving, USA!

Have a wonderful Holiday!

Thanksgiving greetings

 

Be careful when carving the turkey…Cartoon about Thanksgiving

 

And don’t go too wild on Black Friday!

Thanksgiving article

 

 

What to write to someone who is depressed

This article is not about the professionals’ answers on how to deal with depression. It’s about how we as ordinary people should react when faced with a friend or family member who is dealing with it: the professionals are the next step, if necessary. In the meantime, how can we help our friend appropriately?

How to handle depression in a friend

The most important thing to your friend at this point is just to know you’re there for them

What about your initial response to a friend who is depressed?

[Read more…]

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