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Tips on what to write in the card

Example of sharing your pain in appropriate way: "Desi was such a positive light in my life. His humor brought me so much joy over the years. I will miss him terribly."Example of overshadowing the bereaved's pain: "This is the saddest thing that's ever happened to me — I don't know how I will get through this."

Part of the impossibility of death is thinking that there are no new memories. Sharing a past tale that the recipient may have never heard can be such a wonderful gift.

People want to be sure that a loved on will not be forgotten, or that they will be carried forward even if they are no longer physically here. Sharing things like, "We will toast Susan on her birthday every year," or "I know Jacob felt most at peace at the beach. Whenever I visit the coast, I will take a moment to remember him."

Avoid (at all costs) 'call me if you need me' - this puts the burden of action on the person you are trying to help. Instead say, 'I will bring you dinner next week', or 'I can watch the kids for you on Friday morning' and follow up on your offer. If you are in a position to offer ongoing support, tell the person. For example, "I am home every Sunday afternoon. I would love to host your kids any week that you need a break."

Here are some common grief platitudes that are best to be avoided; Everything happens for a reason, I can't imagine what you're going through, They're in a better place, You wouldn't be given you more than you can handle, They are watching over you, Stay strong, God needed an angel, It could be worse, at least..