Mourning with Those that Mourn in an Internet Age

I logged on to Facebook one afternoon to find my grandfather had died. A  relative made the announcement via status update. It was not the way I wanted to find out of his passing. My aunt, his daughter, had not even been told. My relative meant well, and my grandmother, not knowing what Facebook is, thought a Facebook announcement would be fine.

In the past few years I’ve noticed other faux pas in the form of status updates, wall posts and emails sent out en masse. I’m not sure what it says about our culture; our lack of reverence for the dead or more likely our misguided yet unfeigned compassion towards those who lose loved ones. News media regularly refrains from revealing the names of those who have died until all family members have been notified. This can take days, or sometimes weeks. But news travels fast in wards and neighborhoods, especially in the age of the internet. It only takes one post on someone’s wall with the word Condolences to send ripples and waves that crash down on unsuspecting loved ones.

I offer some tips as general guidelines taken from my own observations, leaving room for people to navigate the very tender and individual circumstances around them.

Don’ts

Don’t announce via Facebook, email, instant message, twitter (heaven forbid), or any other public means that someone has passed away unless you have been asked to get the message out—and even then Facebook may be in poor taste. If you have been notified of a death, you could ask the person who told you if it is ok for you to tell people, or if there are specific people you should notify.

Don’t post on the Facebook wall of a spouse, child, parent, or other loved one’s wall that you are sorry to hear about someone’s passing—even if someone else has already posted something to that affect—unless the person who owns the wall has already not only announced it, but announced it on Facebook. They may have told you, but they may not have had a chance to notify all relatives. Don’t tweet it!

Don’t call the house. Instead call the Bishop, Relief Society President, visiting teacher, close friend or family member of those grieving to find out what you can to do help. Usually there is a contact person, it is best to arrange to help through that person. Not only is it hard on the family to receive lots of calls, but calling the contact person cuts down on confusion as efforts are made to help.

Don’t just stop by. Even if it’s to bring food. Call the contact person first (see above).

Never, ever tell someone who was pregnant you are sorry about the loss of their baby via Facebook. Chances are they haven’t told all 400 of their Facebook friends about their baby, and prefer to keep it private. But what if they announced their pregnancy via Facebook? It doesn’t matter, don’t do it.

Don’t tell someone who has lost a child that his/her child must have a mission in heaven, that the good die young, that it was God’s will, that they must be special people to have lost a child so young—who obviously must be special to die so young, that it was the person’s time, that it’s good we know about the Plan of Salvation, or wax on about any other theological comforts to support them. It doesn’t usually help and often hurts. Sam’s gentle post illustrates this.

Don’t say anything like the above regarding adults who have died. Especially don’t say it via Facebook (or other electronic means).

Don’t be overly eager to do something. You may want to feel helpful. Sometimes the most help is to do nothing.

Don’t wish someone well on their surgery or medical procedure via Facebook. Don’t ask them how their recovery is going publicly on the internet.

Dos

Once you’ve found out about someone’s loss, find out who the contact person is. Contact that person to know what to do to help. This could be planning a funeral, picking up relatives from the airport, finding place for relatives to stay, putting notices in the newspaper, arranging meals or arranging childcare. Later someone close to you might want help going through personal items of a lost loved one. Again, go through the contact person (unless you are the contact person).

Take food, but call the contact person first.

Sit. Listen. Be still.

Remember, although you might be the bishop, Relief Society President or home or visiting teacher does not mean you are the person who needs to be there. You may feel the burden of your calling to jump in and fill a need, but you may not be needed as emotional support. Your efforts as peripheral support are often times the best you can give the family. For emotional support, people will want to lean most on their closest friends during times of grief. Let them.

Remember, although you might be the bishop, Relief Society President or home or visiting teacher does not mean the family wants you to know they just lost a baby, have an illness, or have other hardships of sensitive nature befall them. Some things don’t require ward involvement. If you found out, that doesn’t mean you are supposed to know. Unless the family approaches you, let them be.

Believe people mean what they say. If someone says they don’t want help (i.e. meals) don’t pressure them to take it. That isn’t helpful.

Often time’s people want privacy. Give it to them.

Such a concrete list may appear that one size fits all. Probably the first thing to know about grief is there isn’t a one size fits all. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve done it wrong in the past. You may feel genuinely prompted to do things on the don’ts list. In times of grief, everybody is trying hard to do the right thing in an impossible situation. While lots of things that get done may be ill-timed or poorly delivered, just as damaging is the inaction precipitated by fear of doing it wrong. Give yourself some space to follow your own impressions and good heart. What experiences have you had as the bereaved or someone helping to handle arrangements?  What helped or worked and what didn’t?

Comments

  1. Swisster says:

    Send a sympathy card after a death. The family will open it at their leisure, and if they choose, they will always have a tangible record of your concern. Even if you didn’t know the late person well, or you are not close to the surviving family, it means a lot to see a pile of cards acknowledging your hurt, and testifying to the fact that the late person made a difference in someone’s life.

  2. May I add something to the Don’t list? Do not tell a single adult that now that their parent has passed away said parent can now find a spouse for them. This was one of the most insensitive and hurtful things I heard after my mother died and I heard it more than once.

  3. CS Eric says:

    This hits really close to home. When my wife passed away last month, I was struggling with a way to notify people who would care. After the family had been notified, I posted about it on Facebook. We have been in the military most of our married life, and had friends scattered throughout the country and throughout the world. Facebook seemed to be the most common-sense way for me to let them know.

    On the other hand, it was also a surprise to see that some people who got the word early posted their condolences on Facebook before I had a chance to post the status update of her passing.

    That said, I agree completely with the suggestion to send a card. I’ve got lots of people who emailed me or posted on my wife’s Facebook account, so I really don’t have anything tangible to have as a “keepsake.” I guess I’m going to have to figure out how to print them out in a way that preserves the memory.

    It took me nearly four weeks before I could bring myself to walk down the corner to the mailbox, and when I did, there were lots of cards. I know the number of cards is relative as to what a “lot” of cards is, but I come from a small family and don’t make friends easily, so I didn’t expect very many–they were a “lot” to me. When I saw all at once the number of people who had gone to the trouble to buy a card, write in it, and then put a stamp on it and mail it, I was overwhelmed.

    One other note, carried over from SamMB’s post a while ago: there is a time to preach and a time to mourn. Preach from the pulpit; when you are talking to me, acknowledge my loss, even if you didn’t know her well enough that the loss affects you other than because you know me. In this time of my wife’s passing, the old saying is true that I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.

  4. I totally agree on the importance of being sensitive to the real needs of those who are grieving. It is also excellent advice to determine who the contact person is rather than simply approaching the family. But rather than emphasizing that it is better to do nothing, I think that inaction can cause additional hurt. Most people need to know others are thinking of them when they are hurting. While it is never okay to intrude and often not helpful to say some trite phrase I think it is very important to acknowledge the loss and say _I am so sorry._ I don’t think anything hurts as much as having everyone pretend nothing has happened or nothing is different.

  5. Great post. I recommend a lot of prayer and humility and concern when it comes to these situations. Some sort of cherish the obnoxious visitors with the big hugs, while others don’t like them at all. For the philosophical crowd, I recommend Geoffrey Gorer’s epochal “The Pornography of Death,” which–although it is somewhat specific to Britain in the 1950s–does a masterful job of describing the ways that a culture can fail those who are acutely bereaved.

    One other thing to consider is that there is great need to care for the subacutely bereaved. After the initial wave of concern and ritual around the funeral and its immediate aftermath, some mourners feel quite abandoned when a few weeks later everything seems to have settled back into a routine for everyone but the bereaved. While everyone is different, intense grief can last 3-9 months–in some cultures the bereaved were allowed a special status for 12 months. I try to remember to be available after that first month or so and to honor birthdays and anniversaries where appropriate. My sense is that people really appreciate stuff as simple as “I love you and the person you lost,” repeated over time.

    I do agree that facebook should not be used before the closest kin have been told directly or have directed that facebook be used.

  6. Elouise says:

    My mother joined the Church in her fifties, became very active and before long was RS president. When she died in her mid-sixties, it’s possible that the bishop didn’t remember that Dad was not in the church, never had been, though perfectly supportive of Mother’s calling. As I was arranging the details of her funeral, the bishop called several times, I’d answer the phone, and he’d ask to speak to my father–which was what he considered appropriate, of course. But my father (who didn’t know the bishop personally) was totally devastated by Mother’s death, and each call from the bishop, asking Dad about particular options and details, shook any emotional equanimity he had been trying to manage. (He had never been to an LDS funeral and found it impossible to be present at the viewing, though he did of course attend the funeral and felt it was very appropriate.)

    This bishop also tried to dissuade me from having Mother’s best friend (and the woman responsible for her joining the Church) speak at the funeral–because she tended to be long-winded, according to him. I laughed politely and said if she did talk too long, I’d pull on her skirt, but she had been Mother’s choice to speak and we were going ahead with that plan.

    So my suggestion to those involved with the funeral or burial is to check into the facts, go softly and not assume that everyone in the family believes the same thing or is prepared to take the role that’s usual for members.

  7. Shannon says:

    I think the blanket “don’t comment on Facebook” is too Luddite, especially going forward. I would say, rather, only express on there what you would say in front of everyone–and take more care with that.

    I read a NYTimea article recently about Facebook pages of the dead, though I can’t remember what the solution (if any) was for those preferring physical mementos.

  8. CS Eric says:

    I will add one other thing where Facebook helped in getting the funeral together. When we got married, my wife and I had balloons as the motif for the reception, and I thought it would be fitting that we also have balloons for the funeral. Without Facebook, I don’t think as many people would have known of this idea and brought balloons. For me, the best moment of the service by far was the balloon release we did in the parking lot immediately after the family lunch.

  9. Natalie B. says:

    Recently, my family had an experience where a rumor was started that one of our family members had died when he had not. We learned about it when we started receiving flowers.

  10. I agree totally with what Sam said about being available after the initial wave of mourning (and mourners) has passed. I have recognized in my own life the unsteadying emptiness of the place one inhabits after loss once others’ lives have returned to a normal rhythm. It is not unlike the scene in a movie wherein a character is standing still while everyone around him moves in hyper speed. It is as if one inhabits a parallel dimension where time is stuck, lurching and halting, refusing to allow you to make sense of the simplest of routines and expectations. It is at this time, when all the world seems to be returning to normal and the doorstep is empty, that the full weight of the permanent change to the bereaved’s life begins to set in. It can be wholly crushing. That is most likely the time that an unexpected call, visit, or card may be the most sustaining. It is as if to say, “Our lives have not gone fully unchanged. We recognize the gap, the hole, and we are here to bear you up as you navigate this unfamiliar and daunting terrain.”

    CS Eric, I’m so, so sorry. Truly.

  11. michelle says:

    CS Eric, I just wanted to say I’m so very sorry.

  12. michelle says:

    (And after a post like that it feels weird to be posting condolences on a blog post, but when it’s the only mode of communication you have with someone you only know virtually, I hope that is ok.)

  13. anonforthis says:

    Something that I’ve started seeing in my family is this idea that “we’re telling this but you can’t put it on Facebook”. Really? I can’t publicly share some bad news with friends not common to the rest of my family, because other siblings don’t like how it gets shared?

    Then just don’t tell me.

  14. Josh B. says:

    I like a grace period of a couple days or so before posting any type of news second hand. This includes mission calls.

  15. Sunny,

    Beautifully stated.

  16. Sunny,
    Your description is so spot on it seems you must have first-hand experience. Thanks for sharing.

    I don’t want to make this about me, but the OP asked for experiences. Mine is just fresh.

    Everyone mourns differently. For me, even though I know most of the offers to “give me a call if you need anything” are sincere, I am probably not going to call if I do. But I have yet to turn down a specific invitation to anything–whether it be a meal or a ballgame or help repairing my fence.

  17. Researcher says:

    If messages and notes of condolence are left on Facebook, you can download a copy of the Facebook account. The current method is: Account > Account Settings > Download Your Information > Download. The program will ask a security question or two. Facebook produces a nice set of files (wall, friends, messages, etc.) that could be printed and placed in a collection with other things including the obituary, emails, cards, etc., if you would like.

  18. If someone hasn’t experienced the death of someone very close to them (or to a similar situation as someone else) it’s hard for them to understand what they would want others to do in that situation – and to understand that the deaths of different people often need different responses. If someone has lost a spouse or child, especially not to old age or unexpectedly, a proper response can be very different than the expected loss of a parent or sibling to old age or long-term illness.

    I would add one “Don’t”:

    Don’t assume that your experience with death is exactly like someone else’s – or that how you would like to have someone act toward you matches someone else’s wishes.

    That is where things get really tricky and difficult – but, as others have said, if the person is not extremely close to you, a card is a very good option. Express condolences, and don’t preach. If the person wants to reach out to you in return, you will have a chance to share more. Be patient in that regard.

    To men, one more piece of advice – knowing it’s stereotypical:

    Don’t try to “solve” the situation by offering advice. If someone wants advice, they will ask for it.

  19. gatoraidemomma says:

    Please don’t say “the Lord needed him (more) up there for something…whatever…mission, etc.” We know the Lord could have waited…he has plenty enough good spirits up there and would not go about plucking a loved one for an early spirit world Mission. He may be able to put him to good work now, but he doesn’t reach down and say “time’s up…I need you more than your family, friends, and loved ones.” We have to live by the laws of nature. If someone has an unknown defective heart for instance it may result in an early death. If a car traveling 35 mph hits you riding your bike survival is unlikely. If someone is driving drunk it could end a life. That doesn’t mean the Lord took the person, it means we can count on the sun coming up in the morning, gravity working, and the consequences of sinning an poor choices people make can impact others. IF the Lord intervened everytime in the laws of nature we’d go crazy not knowing what to expect next.

  20. gatoraidemomma says:

    The other thing when a person survives a serious illness or accident don’t say, “you must be pretty special to the Lord” or “The Lord has a special mission for you to have spared you.” Think of the burden that puts on the individual. Just tell them you and so happy they are here and doing well and can be with you or their family etc.

  21. Scully,
    That is a good thing to add to the list. I’m sorry for your loss.

    CS Eric,
    Thank you for sharing with us while it is all so fresh and new. It’s a good reminder too that Facebook can be useful and has a place when loved ones have left us, but we need to be sensitive to others. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

    Swisster,
    I lost track of a close high school friend. I had searched for him over the years, and finally realized he had passed away. After finding his obituary to verify, I wrote a letter to his parents, expressing my sorrow that he had left this world. He was one of the best people I knew, and was a good influence on my life. I could not help but tell them and express my condolences to his family. It had been ten years since his passing when I sent the letter. His parents wrote back, so grateful, expressing the sometimes fresh pain after ten years, and how good it was at any time for them to hear the way their son had influenced others in his life.

    Jones,
    Yes, it can be worse to flee our own awkwardness and do nothing. Acknowledging others’ pain is important.

    Sunny, Ray, Sam, Elouise, again CS Eric, and others,
    Thank you for your words. Truly humility and prayer are can’t be ignored if we truly want to succor those that need us. I try to remember my friends’ pain is acute around holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the anniversary of a death. Sending a card acknowledging the pain of a lost loved one on these days can be helpful too.

    I am reminded of a friend who lost her husband. A couple of years later she remarried a man who had lost his wife. She told me that there are times through the months and years when each of them break down in sorrow, mourning the loss of their first spouse. At these times they comfort each other, expressing heartfelt love-understanding this pain doesn’t ever really go away. That to me is such a beautiful expression of love and understanding, yet I am aware that they are in part able to soothe each other because they understand so well what the other is going through.

    Facebook does allow family to take over the page. I have a good friend who passed away a couple of years ago. Her page is used as a memorial to her. Especially on her birthday, people write notes to her, expressing how much they miss her. Her daughters frequently comment.

  22. I disagree says:

    As someone who has lost a child, and who has a close friend who recently lost a child, I have to say I disagree with the don’t call or don’t stop by. If you are a friend go see your friend. Go give them a hug. Go sit with them while they grieve. Listen while they tell you the same stories over and over again. Don’t say much of anything, just be there. We are told to mourn with those that mourn. When my friend’s child passed all visitors had to be cleared through the bishop or RS pres and that ended up being very lonely for her and year later ward members still don’t know what to say and stay away.

  23. I do agree that we should be careful with how we use facebook. I do feel it is appropriate if someone starts a thread about a loved one who passed away on facebook to offer condolences on that thread. Thank you for advice on how to show compassion in a time of need. I think most people mean well but lack direction at times.

  24. I disagree,

    I agree that we shouldn’t avoid visiting or calling those who experience loss. I think these suggestions are geared more toward those of us on the periphery in the days immediately following loss. Those emotionally close enough to call or visit should most likely do so. Those of us further removed should more often than not assist from a close distance (going through a contact person, etc.) in the immediate aftermath. As the dust settles though, it is monumentally important to reach out. There is nothing so isolating as to feel that one’s grief too hideous for others to touch.

  25. To clarify, my #24 was in response to #22, lest mmiles think I was disagreeing with the OP.

  26. StillConfused says:

    Another one — don’t wait years to send a condolence card (unless you just found out). My husband and I have been married for over a year and he has just gotten a condolence card regarding the death of his prior wife. It is a little awkward for us. (the person said in the card that she knew about it back when it happened but for some reason only got around to sending the card now.)

    Also, probably the hardest thing for my husband was that once his first wife died, his “friends” (who apparently were really just her friends) stopped having anything at all to do with him. When I came along, he was literally completely alone.

    I posted about my great aunt’s death on facebook. However, since I didn’t even find out about it until after the funeral and she was such a great inspiration to me, there wasn’t any breach of the peace. I could also see that 4 other people posted her death announcement… but unfortunately I couldn’t see who the other four people were. Facebook can be a great way to bring people together… especially now that we tend to move greater distances.

  27. “Please don’t say “the Lord needed him (more) up there for something…whatever…mission, etc.”

    Especially, don’t say that if there are children left behind from the death of a parent. Think about the message that can send to children:

    “God wanted your dad with him (to help others, generally), so God took your father away from you. Yeah, you need him desperately, but you’re not as important as the dead people your dad now is serving. Why can’t you be happy your dad is gone? Why are you mad at God.

    Buck up and quit being so selfish.”

    That’s not theoretical. I know more than one person whose faith in a loving God was destroyed at an early age by exactly that message.

  28. StillConfused says:

    Oh here is another one… Last Memorial Day I posted something about my brother who gave his life as a fireman. Well he actually passed away many years ago and it was just a memorial day post. But some people expressed such heartfelt condolences for me that I felt bad to clarify the situation. So this memorial day, I was very careful to say specifically that the posting was in memory of my brother who gave his life years ago in service to his community.

    The hard part with social media is that we sometimes leave out the background information that other people need to understand what it is we are saying

  29. Ray,

    Count me in there. I heard those sentiments so many times as a grieving teen and I can say I hated God with all the energy a fifteen year old girl can muster. It was many years and much effort to disabuse myself of such notions.

    I’ve often wondered why we say and think such things. My best guess is that holding God responsible somehow makes him bound (in our minds) to make things better. He owes us. Or, at least, it’s a guarantee that things will get better because God wanted it this way. I wonder if we recognize the place that is ours as children of God to lay claim to God’s comfort and blessings without making him culpable for our pain.

  30. Another anon says:

    Here’s another ditto contra all the it-was-his-time/she-had-a-special-mission/plan-of-salvation/God’s-timing” sort of comments. I really hate that. I’m sure that some people must find it comforting, but… ugh. Sometimes people die, and it really sucks. Kids fall out of chairs just hard enough to break their necks, people get hit by cars, or get cancer, have hart attacks, or drown, or get electrocuted. In other words, sh*t happens, and it doesn’t excuse itself. It just says, “Hey, I’m sh*t, and I’ve just happened.”

    In the midst of grief, people need love, not platitudes that would minimize their loss by ill-advised attempts at “putting it in perspective.”

  31. Another anon says:

    “heart attacks,” rather. I suppose a “hart attack” would be when you get assaulted by a deer.

  32. Thank you, Marintha. Excellent counsel. I have appreciated Facebook for my husband’s nieces and nephews, who lost their mother two years ago. They have sometimes put a status update on FB which invited comfort from family and friends. Many of us are very private in our mourning, but I’ve been glad to get a heads-up for some who needed a bit of online comfort.

  33. Should’ve said Mmiles. Sorry.

  34. I have worked in the newspaper industry for almost 15 years and I’m pretty certain there is no media policy of waiting to publish the names of people who die before ALL family members have been notified. Typically agencies like police or coroner’s offices do not release the names until the next of kin have been notified. Then the names are published soon with no thought of how the rest of the family will find out.

  35. Yesterday Facebook let me share one final thing. Since my wife died so unexpectedly, we had no plans for a burial place. But since I am a veteran, I am entitled to a plot in a veteran’s cemetery, and that is where we buried her. Yesterday I went up and was grateful to see her headstone is already complete–they told me it would be 60 days, and it took less than half the time. (we buried her four weeks ago today) I was able to share a picture of the headstone, with the American flag that goes on all gravesites in veteran’s cemeteries. I thought it was fitting, since in many ways she sacrificed more than I did during my years of service.

  36. Dave P. says:

    A few of the comments made passing mention of something my sister witnessed and should be added to the list of Dont’s: Don’t let ANYONE try to take over the funeral planning. If the deceased has left a list of wishes for what should be done, it’s best to respect them to the letter.

    I don’t remember the full details from what my sister told me, but she related the story of the deceased’s sister’s mother-in-law (who no one in the deceased’s immediately family knew) immediately tried to take control as soon as she walked in the door during the planning. She was cordially uninvited from the entire funeral.

  37. “I was able to share a picture of the headstone, with the American flag that goes on all gravesites in veteran’s cemeteries. I thought it was fitting, since in many ways she sacrificed more than I did during my years of service.”

    What a wonderful recognition – both the flag and your realization of her sacrifice.

    Thank you for sharing that.

  38. When my almost-3-year-old died a few years ago, we discovered some of the same things mentioned here: Don’t preach to the family when you talk to them. Don’t say things like “She’s in a better place.” – which always made me ask, “what’s so bad about being in my home?”

    We were fortunate to have some very good – and very unexpected – friends to help us in the months following. They would just come over, not to “mourn,” but to be with us – painting bookshelves or educating me on the best way to grill steaks. But they were there when we needed to mourn (which many times consisted of us complaining about the cosmic injustice of having a little girl die after we felt she had been spared so many times).

  39. I just remembered, my wife was asked to share some thoughts on this subject and our experiences in RS last year. She posted them here

  40. This post jumped right off the screen at me, given my circumstances: I have a terminal illness and am not expected to live more than several more weeks. In making my plans with my family, these issues have all inevitably come up.

    I wouldn’t mind the news of my passing getting posted on facebook or some other web-method, providing those closest to me were first given the news in person or on the phone. The truth is, some people who might like to know may not hear the news for weeks otherwise.

    The well-meaning statement “you must really be needed by heavenly father on the other side” can indeed rub you the wrong way. Lots of people have said that to me already. I recommend not going there.

    When I think about my greiving wife and kids left behind, I can’t see any harm in someone stopping by to offer support and condolences. We’ve already had some very positive experiences this way. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable at times, but that’s how people connect.

    It seems to me as though a sincere “I’m really sorry for your loss” is something where one can never go wrong.

  41. Ken, I honestly can’t begin to understand your situation, but thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m sorry for the loss of the futures you had imagined for yourself.

  42. Jacob M says:

    Ken, you and your family will be in my prayers.

  43. Thank you, Ken.

  44. Chazzwick says:

    Thank mmiles and all who have posted, this post really touched me and emphasized the importance of care when dealing with tragic losses.
    I have another don’t to add to your list. Don’t tell young boys who just lost their father they need to step up and “be the man of the house”, that their mother needs their support. The same goes for young girls who lose their mother.
    My dad died twenty years ago when I was eight years old, leaving my mom a widow at the same age that I am now. I wish that I could have had someone who would have helped me to grieve for losing my daddy. Instead the grief was squashed away and never really dealt with. I think all these years later I am finally seeing the possibility of getting to a healthy place with his death and all the complications of the situation, but wouldn’t it have been wonderful if I had been supported in my grief back then when the emotion was raw instead of being encouraged to “man up”.

  45. Ditto to all you have shared. Even in happy things, I try to be sensitive to be aware that the info isn’t yet “on facebook”. Recently I knew from my friend’s blog she had finally had her baby- but I didn’t put a congrats there as she had not yet done so. Not my place.

    Awhile ago, a local friend in my ward had somthing in her status that said she was “in shock”. I wondered. I worried about her family and/or our ward (her husband was one of the ward leaders) It was late at night when she posted that and I was curiously worried. Then I fell asleep and woke up at 4AM and got up and went and checked that sisters status statement to see if it had been updated. It had not. I was worried and just said a general prayer on behalf of whoever the status was about, I figured someone might have been in a very bad accident. Then I fell asleep again. Early the next AM, just after 8AM, my phone rang- I knew something was up- it one of the ward RS leaders was calling me to send out an email (due to my calling) to notify the sisters of the sudden passing of one of our young beloved sisters. to send out that email was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been asked to do in a calling.

  46. Margaret,
    No problem.

    WaMo,
    Thanks for the clarification.

    CSEric,
    What a Memorial Day blessing.

    Ken,
    Truly there are no words. May you and your family find peace in the coming weeks. Thank you for sharing with all of us here.

    Thank you everyone for sharing your tender experiences. I hope it will help me others navigate death and other loss more compassionately.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,669 other followers