Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Hard Made Harder

Last night I got word that the husband of a childhood friend had been killed in a car accident.

Angie's husband was on his way home from work, and was hit head-on. No warning. No hope. No goodbye.

I was silent, shocked. Why does it always take awhile to sink in? I mean, what can you say? What can anyone really do?

I can't tell you how many people have told me they had no answer for that oft-asked question, "What can I do for you?" After all, death can't be undone. The book shares many ways to reach out, ideas for helping the bereaved, but nothing can bring your loved one back.

As we struggle for ways to make it easier, though, we can probably all agree there are circumstances that make it even harder.

When someone dies unexpectedly, when a young father or aging wife is left with no life insurance, when there are questions as to how the death occurred, it piles practical problems on top of emotional devastation. Not helpful.

Don't misunderstand me- pain is pain. I'm not suggesting there should be extra Grief Points for those who deal with complicated endings, but there might be an opportunity to learn something here.

Do you have a will? Is it updated? Is it crystal clear on matters of property, child custody, and disposal of your remains? Do you have life insurance to protect (at least financially) your family? Have you notified those close to you of your wishes to be, say, an organ donor, cremated, or buried on your favorite Aunt Sally's farm?

So many of us don't consider the possibility of an untimely death. I get that. But consider the consequences and prepare for it anyway. Just in case.

While you're at it, say those things you'd regret if you didn't get the chance. Mend those fences. Kiss goodbye, and say "I love you" before you leave the house.

And say a prayer for Angie.


  1. What a wonderful honest and meaningful blog! It's always hard to know what to say or how to be. Thank you for the good grace that you are providing us 'well-meaning' folks who sometimes trip over our tongues attempting to offer comfort and hope.


    Blessings and Peace,


  2. Lovely post Alicia. I don't know what I can say more than that . . .

  3. To Janet and Joslyne, two women I respect for so many reasons- thank you.

  4. Hi Alicia ~ I just found you through Twitter, and am so glad to "meet" you here in cyberspace. Your writing is crisp and relevant, and I wish you every success in getting your book published! I'm following your blog now; you'll find mine at GriefHealing, http://griefhealingblog.blogspot.com/
    Most sincerely,
    Marty T

  5. Thanks, Marty.

    I appreciate the kind words and encouragement.

    I'll go take a look at Grief Healing.



When someone dies, (other than attending the service), I do this for the family-