When an Ex Expires

Sep 18, 2009 | 0 comments

Today’s Dear Abby column made a good point about extending condolences when someone dies. The writer worked with another woman for 20 years and they socialized outside work with their husbands. The woman divorced, remarried, and transferred to another department, and the writer now only sees her at work-related functions.

The writer recently heard that her friend’s ex had died suddenly. She didn’t know if it would be appropriate to send a condolence card or not mention anything until they bump into each other again.

Dear Abby wisely noted that if the woman’s first marriage ended in a bitter divorce, she may not have heard the news and the writer should drop her a line and let her know the news. She added if the divorce was a friendly one, then call and offer condolences.

As always, good advice. My take: It never hurts to send a sympathy card promptly, no matter how well you do or don’t know the deceased. Express your caring feelings to friends or relatives who are alive and possibly in pain.

If you know that person doesn’t give two toots about an ex who has expired, you might send a card with a sly hint of humor. This lets you express your support while acknowledging a twisted turn in the cycle of life.

A Good Goodbye