The information in the Condolences Pocket Guide has helped me so much to be a better friend to my grieving friends. It helped me look at myself and my own insecurities and not let them get in the way.
My neighbor's husband died of a brain tumor and even though I'd spent every Friday morning with him for months while my neighbor went to her weekly appointment, my insecurities made me feel like I wasn't a good enough friend to go to the house after he died to offer my condolences. But the book encouraged me to take action, so I went by even when there were a number of cars in the driveway. My neighbor's daughter answered the door and said it wasn't a good time for a visit, so I left.
My first response was, "Oh, I blew it, I shouldn't have gone by, they didn't want to see me, my condolences aren't valuable..." It was all about me. But with the help of the book, I realized my insecurities and screwed up my courage to go back with some banana bread a few days later. I kept saying to myself, "This isn't about you. Just offer the bread and some love and don't have any expectations about what happens."
When my neighbor's daughter answered the door again, I just said, "I've made some banana bread for you all and I just wanted to say how sorry I am about your Dad's passing." I was ready to turn around and leave and the daughter said, "My mom's here do you want to come in?"
That has led to an ever-deepening friendship with my neighbor, a friendship that I cherish. And I honestly don't believe it would have happened without the guidance of this book to look at myself and manage my emotions in a way that let me offer my love and support in a time of need.