It’s never too late to express condolences to the grieving

Whether through our own reminiscences or those of others, keeping alive the memory of a loved one who dies brings a sense of comfort.

In a recent column I wrote about learning about the death of a dear high school friend a month after she passed away. I felt sad because I wasn’t there to share in her family’s grief and I couldn’t, at the time of her death, acknowledge to them the big place my friend held in my heart.

A number of readers wrote to remind me that grief knows no timetable and that my condolences and memories would still be welcome, maybe even more so now.

I know this from experience.  At age 19,

Making connections that can help


Last year, five of the women on my block were caring for a surviving parent. The conversation at our neighborhood Halloween party and the chitchat while walking the dogs held a mix of frustration, concern and fear. “We are on month six of waiting for my mother-in-law’s Medicaid application to be approved.” “My dad in New York fell again and is in the hospital. I am heading back East tomorrow to get some things in place before he returns home.” “Mom’s doctor is now suggesting hospice.” Often in the midst of dealing with our parents’ set of issues, we lose sight of the fact that there are others having similar experiences. That’s what seemed so special about our neighborhood talks. In some way we were our own little support group, sharing situations and solutions, giving each other words of encouragement and a shoulder to cry on. All of us were in the same boat and somehow it was helpful to talk with someone going through similar circumstances. While some support groups can be...