- Please do stay connected. There is already a huge hole in my universe. Do not assume I need space to grieve.
- Please do say you are sorry for my loss. I would rather you tell me that you don't know what to say that to tell me the story of your friend who lost someone. I might be able to listen later, but not now. Do not tell me you understand.
- Do call and ask specifically, "can we go for a walk? can I run errands with you? meet you for coffee?" Do not say, "call me if you need anything".
- Do refer to my husband's acts or words- serious or humorous. I am so comforted by knowing my husband has not been forgotten. Do not leave him out of the conversation (even if it makes my eyes watery).
- Invite me to anything. I may decline but will appreciate being asked. Do not assume I no longer want to participate in couples events.
- Do accept that I am where I am. Marriages are brief, long, healthy, dysfunctional, intense, remote. Death comes suddenly or in tiny increments over years. Again, our experiences are so different, as are we. So my journey is through grief. Do not assume I am going through the outlined grief process "by the book".
- Walk the talk. Do not make "conversation only" offers such as "we'll call you and go out to dinner" and then not follow up. Yes, I am sensitive in my grieving, but I would rather you say, "I've been thinking of you" than to make an offer just to say something.
SEVEN TIPS FOR YOU TO HELP WIDOWS
My sweet sister posted this a few days ago. Her husband passed away suddenly almost a month ago, I hope it will help someone out there in the blogosphere.