How to extend condolences sans emojis

"Your job is to show concern in as sensitive a manner as you can, without putting your friend on the spot."

By

Community

May 27, 2020 - 10:07 AM

Sad emoji emoticon crying bitterly

Dear Carolyn: I’m not big on social media and engage very sparingly. I can go a week without checking, so sometimes I’m a bit behind on my friends’ news.

Carolyn Hax

I recently saw that a high school friend’s husband killed himself last week and left her with her four young kids. The news is so horrible. I immediately donated to the fundraiser set up by her closer friends, but is there something else I should do? I have not talked with her in more than 15 years and never met her husband. We were friends in high school but not super close.

I hate posting public comments on Facebook. Is it weird to just send a private condolence message? If I do send something, what do I say? “Sorry we haven’t spoken in more than a decade, but I’m sad for you”? Would I be doing it more for me than for her? Is the acknowledgment of her pain from, let’s face it, basically a stranger at this point in our lives, a kind thing or just something that might stir up annoyance and resentment from her — “Great that you’re sad but where have you been the last 15 years?”

Related
August 12, 2020
July 6, 2020
June 22, 2020
March 23, 2020