(Closed) How to properly handle situation where a guest's father passed

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1849 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think texting is right for this.  Hearing a warm voice on the other end of the phone, or in person if you can, holds far more importance than a text.  Texting isn’t warm and personal, it is a blip on your phone.  Please don’t text her on this.

Sharing a memory with her is a wonderful idea!

Send her invitation with everyone else’s.  Life goes on for the rest of the world, and sometimes that can be very helpful when  you are in the midst of losing someone so close to you.  If you send it later and she is talking to someone who got one she may wonder where hers is.

Good luck.

Post # 4
719 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014 - South Bonson Pier & Community Centre

@skschick:  I agree with PP; I think a phone call, card with a nice sentiment, or bunch of flowers would be greatly appreciated. I might hold off a couple of days on the invite, if I were to send a condolence card / bouquet, just so that they are a little offset. But not by more than a week or so. It’s nice to have something to think about to distract her, and if she’s not ready to open it, then it can just be put aside.

Post # 5
3371 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I would probably try to speak with her in person. I’d take a gentle approach, to try and gauge how she feels about talking about it. Everyone deals with grief in different ways, but talking about it with someone really helps me process everything that’s happening. Friends I know are similar. A close colleague (we are friends outside of work too) lost her mom to cancer in December, and I didn’t get a chance to see her one-on-one until February. I very tentatively asked her about her mom and we ended up talking about it for several hours, because unbeknownst to her my dad had also unexpectedly passed away in November. It was a very emotional conversation but I think both of us felt better afterwards.

If she is an intensely private person, she may not want to talk…just be respectful of her needs and follow her lead. I received quite a few condolence text messages from colleagues and I wasn’t offended, in a way it’s more respectful because you never know what that person is going through, or where they are given it’s usually a very chaotic time when someone passes.

Re the wedding invite, I would go ahead and send it. I would not be offended by it at all if it was me.

Post # 6
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I would DEFINITELY send a card. when my father passed away a few years ago, a girlfriend who i had lost touch with sent me a card.

it was such a touching gesture, a lot of people called in the days after he passed away, most of which i have no recollection of, but i will always remember that card and how it made me feel.

in terms of the invitation, i think send it as scheduled, but follow up with a phone call in case she forgets to respond because she’s got a lot going on at the moment.


Post # 8
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@skschick:  call her and see how she is.  and still send your invite as planned

Post # 9
7219 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@skschick:  If you haven’t spoken in a while, I wouldn’t call her. Send a card instead. 

My mom passed away 3 years ago and after 48 hours I was already sick and tired of talking on the phone with people who were crying or awkwardly trying to make me feel better. She’s going to HAVE TO talk to a LOT of people. A text will probably get ignored and then auto-erase as a million messages come in. A card will come a little later and she has time to read it when she can. Definitely the way I would go.

As far as the invitation… just send them with everyone else’s, but be aware that she might not even notice or have time to think about it. 

Post # 10
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

My mother passed away unexpectedly in November, and I can say with absolute certainty that I preferred cards with nice handwritten messages,

The texts/facebook messages (they pop up on my phone too) always caught me off guard and were usually a very short message, that (to me) basically said “Oh hey remember your mom died! Here’s another person you have to put on the fake face for or else their feelings will be hurt that you didn’t acknowledge them! Thank you for your thoughts! I’m doing okay!” (I know that this isn’t true and friends completely understand that you might need space, but it felt like that even though I knew it wasn’t true. Grief really plays with your head)

I hated talking on the phone and in person for similar reasons, and I had to literally put on the happy face because I knew if I started crying it would be awkward for the person who doesn’t know what to do, or it would be awkward for me to be hugged/comforted when I’m so vulnerable.

But cards… it’s hard to explain. They come in the mail, so I can go to the mailbox when I am ready to face the cards I know will be in there. I can even gather them, unopened, and leave them on the table until I’m ready to open them. It gives you a small sense of control when you feel otherwise powerless with what just happened. You also get more time to come up with a reply in the form of a thank you note.

So… that’s just me. I’m an introvert, though, so it might be different for people who cope better/thrive with constant attention. 

Post # 11
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

As somone who lost their father a month ago today…if you haven’t spoken for a while, send a card. A phone call may be too much pressure since she may feel like she “has to talk” to you even though she probably doesn’t feel like talking much to anyone.

A nice, thoughtful but brief hand written card will let her know that you think enough of her to take time and focus on her for a moment. It’ll be a pressure free way to let her know you’re there.

Post # 12
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I agree with sending a nice card. Since you said she is a private person, and you haven’t talked on the phone in a while, it will be better for her. If you call, she may feel like she has to “catch up” and such. And a text is not right for a time like this, too impersonal.


Post # 13
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

No, on the texting for sure.  A phone call would be nice, but don’t feel bad if she doesn’t bring it up.    And a card.  My father passed away 6 years ago, and I still pull out the cards and read them.  Go ahead and send the invite like normal. 

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