Sympathy from the President.

Not everyone can deal with death or dying.  When my sister Kitty was terminally ill, many of her friends avoided the hospital — they said, “We don’t do hospitals”.  A lot of people feel that way about funerals — me included.  The day we buried Vin’s mother Jean, I was surprised and heartened to see…

Black suit sadness.

Michael Jordan, who works for Vin, helped get the materials ready for the video that Vin prepared for his mother’s memorial.  He also got pressed into duty as a wardrobe stylist, when Vin needed to have his black suit shipped cross-country and Michael was at the house.  Ironically, a few weeks later, Michael lost HIS…

Another sad note…

Vin’s publicist Sybil just lost her Mother, I found out…. so even though she’s at the funeral, I wanted her to get this when she returns… because there is something comforting about finding LOVE in the mailbox, especially after a loss. When my sister Kitty died, I received many cards — some from high school…

A mover & shaker.

I saw this story in today’s LOS ANGELES TIMES — and hastened to write BILL AHMANSON about the loss of his long-time family friend ROBERT DeKRUIF.  He’d worked for H.F. Ahmanson & Company — his first job out of USC — and went onto be a salesperson who would call on “10 people a day…

Condolence appreciation.

I never appreciated condolence cards until my sister Kitty died. Then I got it. I put them up in my office where I could see them all day long, and they helped me get through the pain to know that other people were thinking of me and took the time to share their thoughts &…

On the day of a funeral…

People hate writing condolence cards. Death is not popular. Nobody knows what to say. In this case, I never met Veronica’s father. I don’t know who he was, but imagine he was proud of her. The funeral was today and I wanted a letter to be waiting for Veronica when she gets back to her…

From chaos to calm; goodbye to a lovely neighbor.

Facebook is good for a lot of reasons. If it’s your birthday, you get a ton of messages. In this case, I got a group message about much sadder news:  our former neighbor on Greer Road, the street we grew up on in Palo Alto, had died. Her daughter Kris wrote us — “The Gerards…

Sorrowful response.

Just because someone’s a grief counselor doesn’t make it any easier when they suffer their own loss.   After I wrote a condolence card to someone I don’t know all that well, I was surprised — and touched — to get this card in return.  I liked seeing the picture of her husband, since I’d…