“Did he leave you enough money?”

In many forms, the question does get asked. Instead of the clever quips I would later come up with (at 3:00 a.m. after the opportunity had long past) I generally answered, "Thank you, I'm doing okay." I figured that was generic enough and they just wanted to know that I was alright.

Try not to one-up each other in grief.

Most important thing to remember for everyone concerned: During the week or so around the death, every raw emotion is splayed out on the surface ready for everyone else to violate. Traps are freshly baited and waiting at every turn. It doesn't take much to turn a thoughtless comment into an inferno. It's what makes this so hard for all of us. So let's all take a breath and try to be kinder to one another, shall we? My Death Is Better Than Your Death is not a game any of us need to play.

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One more thing…

How else do I know what hurts and what helps? Because not only were they done to me… I learned through this process that I am certain to have done the very same "Don't" things to others at some point along the way. If you're one of them, I am genuinely sorry. I'm trying to learn.