Begin at the beginning
Every death and every grief is a tough ration of reality. Normalcy is suspended. Extra duties pile on and most have unique challenges; still, survivors move forward. They find comfort and support in the strata of life relationships and, with time and revision, 'normal' bears resemblance to the well known.
If there is one topic all of humanity agrees on, it is that the Covid-19 pandemic has assaulted the concept of 'normal.' All patterns-- how we tend the sick, vigil the dying, gather to mourn and weave our memories into shared legacy--are torn. We are left to begin at the beginning.
Celebrating a person's life should never be about the cause of their death.
You may feel the pandemic has taken much from you--casual freedoms, livelihood, leisure enjoyments; DO NOT let it take your memories of this wonderful person!
Beyond the Top 5 Keys for a Great Condolence Note
Years ago, I designed a bookmark to promote my eBook, but I wanted it to be useful beyond marking your place. I reviewed my writings and distilled the reams of Condolence Coaching to this:
Phrasing Special Sympathies for the Hardships of Today
- If survivor(s) were not able to to be at the dying person's bedside:
- "Trust that the love you have long-shared, surrounded ____ when you could not be at his/her bedside."
- If funeral arrangements were hasty, severely abbreviated, or a gathering was delayed to a future "safer" date:
- "Although we couldn't gather as hoped, my heart and thoughts were with you."
- "Although we couldn't gather right away, I look forward to being with you someday soon."
- Acknowledging the lack of hugs, etc. when they are most acutely needed:
- "When I heard the news, I just wanted to give you a big hug. Please know that within these words is a "raincheck" for that hug!"
Remember that, if you do not have a mailing address for the family, you can always send your card or note c/o the funeral home or mortuary that handled the final disposition. Just write "Please forward" on the envelope.
Thank you for caring!