Unfortunately, it happens, and the passing of someone we care about creeps up on us all. No matter if our friend or loved one passes suddenly, or if it was due to long term illness, and their passing was “expected,” it can be just as difficult to accept and cope with either way.
When a friend or loved one passes, we begin to grieve, and then we begin to cope. We seek out ways to comfort ourselves, and the people around us.
But, what if we are away, traveling for business, or on a long time planned vacation, when the loved one of a family member, friend, or co-worker passes away? How do we let those affected by the loss know that we care, when we are not able to personally be there?
Our first instinct is to reach out and hug our friend or loved one tight. When we are unable to do that, we need another way to show our support, and that we care about what they are going through. We want to let them know they are not facing it alone, and that they are on their minds, and in our hearts, as we too are grieving for them, even if not alongside them at that moment.
Make a Phone Call
If you are in a situation where you can, call your friend or loved one, and let them know you are there, and available to talk, even while you are away on your trip. You can make it a voice call, or choose to use Facetime, Skype, or one of the many other video-calling services to reach out to your friend of loved one. If they are not ready to talk at that moment, do not be offended or become agitated with them. You don’t ever want to push anyone who is grieving, or in any uncomfortable and distressing situation, to do something they are not ready to do. Let them know you are present for them, even from afar, and that they can initiate a conversation with you whenever they may be ready.
Send a Condolence Basket
Whether you are sending condolences from a distance near or far, condolence baskets are a great way to offer comfort and support to your loved one or friend while they are grieving. Gourmet baked treats and snacks offer more than just the classic cliché of being “comfort food” in their time of need. This is a genuine gesture that will let your loved one or friend who is coping with a loss know that you are thinking of them, and that you truly care, even from afar.
Sending flowers is the most traditional way to acknowledge someone’s passing. This gesture can be easily accomplished while traveling during someone’s passing. Be sure to choose the most appropriate flowers to comfort your friend or loved one, and include a card with a personal and heartfelt message offering condolences and comfort as they grieve.
Make a Donation in Memory of Their Passing
If your friend or loved one who has passed was affiliated with a charity, or had a passion for a specific cause, their obituary may make mention of a request by the family to make a memorial donation as opposed to sending flowers, cards or any other gifts. You can reach out to the organization. Many offer the opportunity to make a donation in memory of those who have passed.
Place Your Signature in the Guest Book
In this day and age, virtual connections have proven to be a truly powerful resource. When we are unable to be physically present during hard times, virtual connections can keep us going. If the obituary is published online, a place you can go to virtually gather after someone’s passing is the Virtual Guest Book. This virtual guest book is part of an obituary published online where you can offer condolences, share pictures and memories, and place your signature acknowledgement.
Create and Send a Photo Book
While many people keep photos of friends and family on their electronic devices, this offers a convenient way to create a virtual photo book. If you have pictures of the deceased on your phone or laptop, creating a photo book for your grieving friend of loved one is a reassuring gesture to let them know that even though someone is gone, they are far from forgotten. You can also have these photos printed, or gifts created and delivered through Shutterfly, and numerous other websites online. These sites print beautiful pictures, and create wonderful gifts that send a genuine message of caring and support.