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Condolence


A few days ago, my mother (84) passed away of old age. I had an experience of being in a state of sorrow due to her demise. The article is an outcome of experiences following the incidence. I did realize the need and importance of true consolation to the grieved person. So I thought it is prudent to write from the heart words giving guidance.


Condolence: It is expressing sympathy to a misfortune or bereavement (one deprived of relative because of death).
Consolation: To give comfort or sympathy to an unhappy person.

On the death of a close relative, a sudden gap is created due to the absence of that relative. Even the mentally strong person understanding every aspect of the event becomes shocked for a while. Here is the need of true consolation known as 'condolence.'
I will tell the story in four divisions: Decision, time, place and technique.
  • Decision: Decide whether your meeting the grieved person has any role to play in the grieved situation. If the answer is No, just forget the event. Either you are a close relative or a friend; your presence is must or you have a formal relation, you will only be a part of the crowd and nothing else. Just ask yourself and act.
  • Time: Without seeing the customs or calendar, one should meet the relative at the earliest. The formal time fixed for special condolence meeting is only for formal and casual relations, if you are truly close one, do not wait. Do not find false excuses here and there, they are against your relations. My understanding tells avoid lunch/dinner time and resting/sleeping hours, early morning and late evening times.
  • Place: The best place to go for condolence is where death has occurred and the relatives gathered are staying. Avoid meeting at the workplace - say office, or anywhere on the road, at some third place you accidentally met and start your story.
  • Method: The best method I have understood is meeting personally. Any words are hardly required. Your expressions tell all you want to. Still, if you think it will not suffice, you can tell how you will miss one and your experiences with the departed soul. You can add how sure you are about facing the situation and what help you will offer to one present. Remember it is no place for exhibiting your smartness and intelligence if you have any. Avoid this cautiously.
Well, if you are not in the position to meet personally, do not mind. Just be silent, the other best method of consoling. Refrain from calling on the phone and showing your pseudo-concern, it not only disturbs, it irritates.

Words can be rightly expressed in a letter, E-mail via internet or SMS on mobile. Be honest, precise and true in writing. It will work.

Let me express my thanks to all who did this with me on the demise of my mother. Vaishali and Rahul did the best as expected. The SMS to be praised were from Kaushal Suthar, Janak Panchal, Bhumika Naik to name the few. Amongst letters, one each from Dr Rohit Desai, Arvind Naik, Rekha Parmar and Dhamesh Kapadia gave right solace.

Well, condolence has a role in the demise of a close relative, but it should be immediate, silent and a right manner. Otherwise, instead of helping the grieved one, it disturbs.


Related article:
Void After My Father's Departure

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Comments

  1. I am speechless after reading this article...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janak Panchal, Binta Rana and Poorva,
      I liked your response. Thanks anyways.
      Dr Bharat Desai

      Delete
  2. It seemed like a chapter from the book "Do's and Dont's in Life".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Beloved Ravi,

      It is more sharing an experience and less advise. It is important to be responsible than formal. I also wanted to add about dress code and duration of meeting time. But I thought small is beautiful.

      Pappa.

      Delete
  3. Nice article!

    Being an atheist, I struggled with a mild but nagging temptation to *believe* when one of my close relatives died several years ago. For a believer (in God, religion, afterlife etc.), it's relatively easy (for the lack of a better word) to console themselves. The departed soul is believed to be in a "better place", which gives comfort. But for an atheist, death is the end. I just had to come to terms with the loss. The only consolation was that I was glad to have know that person, and have had that person in my life; and I was contented that the person lived a happy, healthy and inspiring life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vishal,
      I like your being an ATHEIST and I congratulate for the same.
      Yes, and still, it is not that easy to accept loss of the departed relative...whatever your belief is.
      Thanks for sending response and being with me for the said time..
      Dr Bharat Desai

      Delete
  4. 'Perfect' is the only word for this article ........
    It takes lot of maturity and experience to write on such topics......
    I am too small to understand the depth of it or comment on it.... but I think the do's and don'ts mentioned above are very useful for every sensible individual ....
    thanks and keep writing!
    -Poorva..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sometimes simple reminders like these say so much and remind of so many incidences. Thanks for sharing this one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When writing words of condolences on behalf of someone, you can say it like this "I am very sorry to hear your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family." Be nice and tender, sensitive, sympathetic and caring. At some point, it may relieve the pain the feel and comfort the bereaved.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you. When writing your words of condolence to the family or to a person in the family whom you know very well, it is thoughtful to show sadness that the deceased is no longer with them. Say something about happy memories you had with the deceased and most likely the family will like to read about it. The tone should be respectful and not casual.
    Cathy,
    Obituarieshelp.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy,
      Thanks for responding on my article.
      I agree to follow your guidelines, they do guide me and all concerned.
      I am in hurry to visit your Obituarieshelp.org..
      Dr Bharat Desai

      Delete

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