Beth's Blog on Etiquette

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A Father’s Death

How do we teach our children how to handle death?  It’s a tough one and every family has different rituals/ceremonies.  I received a text very early this morning that my close friend lost her dad.  My son turned on my phone this morning and ran upstairs to tell me with tears in his eyes.

Waterfall- Symbolizing my friends tears

Steps on how I explain Death:

I immediately tell my children this is apart of life.

I explain that he was old with a terrible disease.

I listen and answer all of his question with responses he can understand without frightening him.

Then, I let him listen to my phone call to my close friend.  I explained this is a very important call to immediately make and a condolence note will follow.  This is an example:

Dear Friend,

I am saddened by the sudden passing of your dad.  He was an extraordinary person who cared so much about you and your sister.  Please know that my thoughts are with you today.  I remember the time when your dad…Your father was an example to all of us.  I’m so glad I had the honor of meeting him.



Life Skills:  Teaching your children how to write a proper note will follow them throughout life.


Filed under: Death, ETIQUETTE

Elizabeth Post Has Passed away

Elizabeth Post passed away on Saturday, April 24, 2010.  She was the successor to Emily Post who died in 1960.  “Etiquette is a code of social respect”, said Mrs. Post.  That’s why I always loved her.  She was never too stuffy, too proper or to judgemental.  She answered questions about how to act at a dinner table to if it was OK to have a threesome.  This type of sophistication and tact should be recognized .   The Emily Post Institute will be continue by Cindy and Peggy Post.  Please link to the article in the WallStreet Journal today: April 28, 2010 for article

Filed under: Death, ETIQUETTE

What to say

Milestone events in one’s life effect beginning to end.  When I say end I mean Death. I have to compliment my husband on this part.  I miss him right now(he’s not dead) so I feel I have to say something about his greatest strengths.  He is a man of great compassion.  I don’t know if you know him or if he has touched your life at the hospital.  Yes, he is a Doctor.  The most important one in the operating room.  The one so many take for granted doctor that watches your back…THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST.  He makes the calls.  Did you know that?  He decides if there will be surgery preformed today.  He is the one that makes you feel comfortable, puts you to sleep and wakes you up.  What a tough position to be in.  So when I go to a funeral with him, I watch a man who never speaks many words to most,  be the most compassionate man in the room.  I ask, did he learn this in Medical School, did his parents teach him…How does it come so natural to him?

Here are some things to say and not say:

DON’T SAY                                            SAY

“He’s/she’s in a better place.”               I’m so sorry about your loss.

“Did he have life insurance”                  He was a man who took care of his family

“Call me if there’s anything I can do”    Can I bring dinner over tomorrow?

“It’s God’s will.”                                         She was an extraordinary person.

“I know how you feel.”                             Please know that I am thinking of you.

“Now you’re the man of the house.”     Your father/mother was an example for us all.

(Emily Post)

Remember, when you are at any event from beginning of life to the end, make believe everyone is listening because words do hurt!

Filed under: Death, ETIQUETTE

Condolence Cards

Do I need to write a thank-you note to each person who sent me a note?

Notes of condolence should be acknowledged with a handwritten note. The only exceptions to this obligation are when the expression of condolence is simply a printed form with no personal message, or when the writer asks that his or her note not be acknowledged (a thoughtful thing to do when writing a close friend, or when someone you know well will receive a great number of condolences).

There is no official time frame for writing notes of appreciation to those who have extended their condolences and kindness to you. The important thing is that you have received comfort from the many who have helped you. For some, writing notes is helpful as they work through their grief; for others it is too difficult to get much done for some time. The best thing is to work things through at your own pace. Another option is to ask a close relative or friend to write some notes on your behalf. It’s up to you.

Filed under: Death, ETIQUETTE, Stationery

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