Grieving Club Member

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My husband’s father just died very unexpectedly. It was a huge loss to
the family. I went to help them for a week and while I was there, my
boss’s mother died. She was a matriarch just as my husband’s dad
had been the patriarch. My boss sent flowers and refused to let me
take vacation time, paying me full salary. How can I acknowledge and
thank her?

Grieving Club Member

Dear Grieving:

Write her a very personal note. Handwritten is best. Here’s a start:

Dear [Boss]: Thank you so much for the flowers, salary, and most
importantly your support during the recent death in my family. I was
terribly sad to learn you were undergoing the very same grieving
process after [mother’s name’s] death. She was a great person.
Whether the end comes quickly or after a long illness, we who are left
to carry on are no more prepared for coping with the forever absence
of those we love and who were so much a part of making us who we
were. As a wise friend told me, You’ll have good days and bad ones,
and no idea when you wake up which it will be. Grieving is not linear
and tears can sneak up on you when you least expect them. Don’t be
shy about saying “My mother just died.” Everyone has been there or
will be. Sometime when we are all in a better space, lets go have
drinks and toast our departed loved ones. May their memories be a
blessing. Empathetically, [your name]

Then, in a few weeks, send her an email and ask when’s good time to
go out for sharing memories. Being a couple pics of your mother and
ask her to do the same. Share food and drink, and absolutely pick up
the tab graciously and appreciatively.