I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Archive for July, 2011

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Robbie Miller Kaplan, Author of “How to Say It® When You Don’t Know What to Say”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on July 25, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Robbie Miller Kaplan, Author of  How to Say It® When You Don’t Know What to Say.  Robbie’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to express your sympathy to a grieving loved one.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences on how your friends and family have assisted you in restoring balance in your life after the loss of a loved one in the comment section below. 

1.           What inspired you to write the book How to Say It® When You Don’t Know What to Say?

 I faced a number of difficult experiences and some folks said some insensitive things that were hurtful. I realized over time that people didn’t mean to say inappropriate things; they just were at a loss for words and didn’t know what to say. I decided to write a book to demonstrate how you can be supportive by saying and doing things that would be helpful and healing, not hurtful.

2.           Is there any one thing that your family or friends did for you that assisted you through the grieving process?  (i.e. a special card someone sent you, a favorite place they took you, listened when you needed support, etc.) 

When you’ve experienced a loss, you need to tell your story over and over again to make sense of it. This can be really hard for many people to do; the tendency is to say, “You’ve already told me that.” Several friends and family members gave me the gift of listening. They allowed me to vent and they listened to the same stories and frustrations. It was their support that helped me through the toughest times. 

3.           Our website focuses on providing tips to friends and family members on how to support a loved one through the grieving process.  What would be your top three suggestions on how to positively support a loved one that is grieving? 

 a.      Keep in touch by phone, cards, notes, and e-mail. Even if you get no response, keep sending notes and e-mails. Grief is so debilitating the bereaved may not be able to respond, but your care and kindness will mean so much to them.

b.       Ask, “What can I do to help?” But only do so if you are willing to do whatever is asked.

c.       When they’re comfortable and willing to talk, listen and be fully present. No interruptions, no personal stories or comments. Focus your attention solely on the bereaved. 

4.           What is one thing you would like your readers to take away from your books?

You don’t need to make grand gestures to make a difference. Decide on one or two things that you’re comfortable doing and do them for everyone. For example, ask if you can do an errand at the pharmacy along with your own or pick up a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad when you do your grocery shopping. Simple, helpful gestures mean a lot to the bereaved. 

5.           What do you want our readers to know about you and your books?

I know first-hand how difficult it is to deal with a family member’s difficult illness or the death of a loved one. I feel very passionate about the importance of helping and supporting not just family members and friends but colleagues, neighbors, and community members. It can be intimidating to reach out to someone dealing with a terrible loss. My writing focuses on the importance of doing a kindness, but also on simple suggestions that are easy to implement.  My philosophy is one kind and thoughtful deed can make a world of difference to someone experiencing loss. Wouldn’t you want to be that person that makes a difference? 

6.           Do you plan to write any additional books in the future? 

If there was a topic I felt needed to be addressed, I would consider it.


Robbie has had a long and extremely interesting road to becoming a successful author. When she started out writing career and job search books, she had no idea she would eventually write about loss and grief.  It’s Robbie’s personal experience and her desire to make a difference in the lives of those grieving a loss that motivated her to write How to Say It® When You Don’t Know What to Say. Her book is now available in print volumes for Illness & Death, Suicide, Miscarriage, and e-books for Death of a Child, Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby, Pet Loss, Caregiver Responsibilities, and Divorce. All are available for the Amazon Kindle.

Visit Robbie at http://www.wordsthatcomfort.com or contact Robbie at wordsthathelp@gmail.com

Posted in Grief Resources - Newsletter, Share Your Story, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

More Than Words Can Say

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on July 12, 2011

As seen on the Note Project Blog on June 28, 2011: http://noteproject.com/more-than-words-can-say

When I learned about the Note Project, I went through some of my old letters and found a copy of a Thank You note I had sent my friend Michele after my mom had passed away. Michele was truly there for me at one of the most difficult times in my life. It has been almost 18 years since my mom passed away and I can still feel the love and support that surrounded me at this time of great loss.

I decided to share my letter to Michele not only to express my gratitude to her but to also show what an impact you can have on the life of a friend that has lost a loved one.


Dear Michele,

“I wanted to send you a note to let you know how much I appreciate you and your friendship. Words seem too limited to express the love that our friendship demonstrates.

I can never thank you enough for being there when I truly needed you. From making phone calls, to bringing food, to the most important part – being there when I needed a friend to listen.

Thank you for taking the time to stand by me when I felt like I was going crazy. Thank you for checking up on me and seeing me through the hard days. You can’t imagine how blessed I feel to know that I have such a wonderful friend.

Even when everything seems to have fallen apart, the one thing that makes me believe that God still cares about me is my loving friends and family. I am not sure I understand much about my life anymore, but the one thing I do know is that I have great friends that will see me through the good and the bad times.

Thank you again for the hundreds of thing you have done and said to make my life a bit easier over the last few months. I can’t imagine life without you!”

Love Lori

I have been deeply blessed with loving family members and caring friends that were there for me throughout the grieving process. Their thoughtfulness inspired me to create the website www.IDidNotKnowWhatToSay.com, where we share resources and inspirational ways to support a grieving love one. We invite you to share your story.

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
H. Humphrey

I Didn’t Know What To Say, a website created to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a love one through the grieving process. Over the past 20 years I have lost many family members, several friends and pets. I have been deeply blessed with loving family members and caring friends that were there for me throughout the grieving process. Their thoughtfulness has been an inspiration to me and I hope to you as well. The smallest of gestures can make a big difference in someone’s life. My hope is that our site will inspire you to make a difference in the lives of those around you.

On the Web: www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com

On Twitter: www.twitter.com/IDidNotKnow

Our Blog: https://ididnotknowwhattosay.wordpress.com/

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IDidNotKnowWhatToSay

If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family members through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one, please visit our website at http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/mailinglist.html.

Posted in Appreciation, Gratitude, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Inspiration, Share Your Story, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Happy 4th of July!

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on July 4, 2011

My country, ’tis of Thee Lyrics
by Samuel F. Smith – 1832


My country, ’tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.


My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.


Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.


Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.


Our glorious Land to-day,
‘Neath Education’s sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!


Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation’s pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.


Beneath Heaven’s gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!


Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!







Posted in 4th of July | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »