Monday, April 15, 2013

Good Ideas for Tough Times by Grace Bonney

I have been drafting this post in my mind since I found this wonderful blog post a while back. After today's events, I thought Grace Bonney's writing in her Modern Etiquette Series to be even more timely.

Illustration by Anna Emilia
This afternoon I got the news that one of my sister's best friends from high school passed away. I didn't know it at the time, but while I was receiving this news - bombs were going off at the Boston Marathon.

So much loss seems to be going around these days. Recently, I have stood by a neighbor who lost her son and mourned with a friend who lost her husband. And it seems like status updates of mourning are popping up on Facebook all the time.

Grace Bonney offers some wonderful advice on how to care for those who are going through a tough time. Some of my favorites from her list of ten are...


2. "Private matters are best left private: Whether or not someone chooses to announce something on Facebook doesn’t mean you should respond in kind. I think very serious matters deserve a serious response. This is not the time for emoticons, abbreviations or YOLO dropping. If someone announces the death of a family member online, it’s perhaps best to respond with an email, call or written letter if you can. If not, a private message that’s heartfelt is best."


This was good to read in this time of social media frenzy. I have a couple of letters I am putting in the mail tomorrow in response to death announcements made on Facebook.


6. Keep in Touch: An initial out reach is great, but one of the saddest things that happens after a tough situation is the way people can forget and drop off quickly. That’s often the time around which most people start re-entering normal life and it can feel like everyone forgot about you. Whether you use a Google calendar reminder or another method, make a date to check back in with your friends and see how they’re doing a few weeks later. They may need some time to grieve, but letting them know you haven’t forgotten about them or their loss a few weeks later is often very appreciated.


I am guilty of this. I love her idea of a Google calendar reminder. It must feel really lonely for someone going through a tough time once all the buzz dies down and the other end of the line is silent. It doesn't have to be complicated - just a simple point of contact. Definitely plan on doing better with this.

Click below for the full post -
Good Ideas for Tough Times by Grace Bonney

Are there any of her tips that speak specifically to you?
Are there any tips you would add?

I found this beautiful quote that perfectly states the support that can be offered during tough times.


“There's no way for them to take away my sadness, but they can make sure I am not empty of all the other feelings.” 
― David LevithanLove Is the Higher Law

Thanks for reading.

For more articles and blog posts of note - see the Must Reads page.

- brook.

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