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Do you ever wonder when you turn on the news what crisis, tragedy or loss of life the broadcasters are going to throw across your television screen? When I watch, sometimes I am brought to tears. House fires, airplane crashes, car accidents, and the list continues. Sometimes names of missing persons flash in front of me with people’s faces, names, and locations.

Realizing that each incident, involves women, men, and children, I always take it further to think about their families. Who is grieving? How does Grandma grieve alone in her apartment or retirement home? How do parents mourn loss when they don’t know all of the particulars? How do families tell their children, cousins, and neighbours?

Some people can’t bring themselves to post personal and painful news. They need a little time before seeing their situation in print. Others use Facebook or LinkedIn to tell friends, immediately. Sometimes people ‘share’ these posts, so many people as possible receive the message.  Whichever way works for you is the right way.

This morning I chatted with a granddaughter who lives many miles from me. As we batted messages back and forth, I found tears resting on my face. It is too far to drop in and offer to stay with the children to provide some free mom-time. I can’t expect to see her for a casual visit or sit at the picnic table on our deck for a BBQ. So we do the next best thing, we pass our news back and forth as best we can and be thankful we have that contact.

We grieve in many different ways. News, both expected and surprised, emerges in many social media posts. We might feel helpless because of the miles that separate us from the one who posted. It is good to remember that we can show care in many ways. We are not expected to solve a problem, but it is always good to respond, to be positive and to help the sender take one more step along a difficult path.

Stay positive; provide whatever good news you can. Offer support even when circumstances have changed. And hopefully, your response will fill a void in someone’s life. Someday they might be the one to return the care.

As you reflect on ways you approach any given situation, think of people at the other end of the message, newscast or newspaper article. What comes to mind for you?